Last summer, we witnessed a powerful awakening across our country led by the Black Lives Matter movement. On TikTok, the emotional voices, images, and stories were an important reminder of the responsibility we have to our community. As we shared in our progress report last June, racism and discrimination have no place on TikTok and we're committed to specific, concrete actions in our push to build an inclusive platform reflective of our diverse world.

We believe that the diversity of our community is a huge part of what makes TikTok a rewarding and inspiring place to spend time, and we’re driven to actively promote and protect it every day. Over the past year, our teams have continued working to elevate and support Black voices and causes, while fostering an inclusive environment on our platform and within our workplace.

Empowering our creators

Creators are the heart of TikTok, and as part of our commitment to recognizing and uplifting their voices we introduced our Creator Diversity Collective – a braintrust of talented, passionate creators from different backgrounds who've helped us create and shape programs that spotlight and amplify diverse creators. In collaboration with this group, we rolled out community-favorite TikTok LIVE programs including Dinner with Me, Amplifying Diverse Voices, and more, that highlight the diverse stories and experiences on TikTok.

We hosted our first TikTok for Black Creatives creator accelerator program, where 100 talented, emerging Black creators and music artists participated in educational events, community-building forums, and motivational town halls to further grow and develop their creator careers. Additionally, we launched the TikTok Creator Portal as a resource hub for the already flourishing Black creative community on TikTok and created @BlackTikTok, the official home of the #BlackTikTok community.

Supporting our creators and local communities

We also launched our inaugural Black TikTok Trailblazers list and began an ongoing creator spotlight series that features creators from diverse backgrounds and identities. TikTok would not be what it is today without the contributions of Black creators and we're committed to honoring and celebrating this community, today and every day.

We introduced Support Black Businesses, an online hub where Black entrepreneurs can learn about TikTok's ongoing partnerships and initiatives that drive awareness, support, and patronage of their businesses. This hub builds upon our broader efforts to promote inclusivity in entrepreneurship, including a $500,000 donation to the Accion Opportunity Fund last summer to provide relief to Black small business owners impacted by COVID-19.

And we provided financial support to non-profit organizations that fight for racial equality and justice and provide programs and resources to local Black communities, including BET + United Way COVID-19 Relief Fund, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Center for Policing Equity, Black Girls CODE, Brooklyn Community Foundation, Chicago-based My Block My Hood My City, and The Brotherhood Crusade. We also made contributions to Black museums across the country that are working to preserve Black stories and history, as well as academic institutions that serve underrepresented students with programs focused on public health and professions in the medical and healthcare fields, including historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Building more tools for our community

Over the past year, we've rolled out a number of tools to empower our community. In response to creator feedback, we launched an improved notification system and appeals process to create more transparency and understanding for our community. We've also made it easier for creators to control comments on their content so they can better shape their online experience. Creators can now delete or report comments or block users in bulk instead of one by one. We've also provided an option to filter all comments and we're prompting users to reconsider posting unkind comments to foster kindness on TikTok.

In addition to leveraging technology, we're always working to evolve our policies so that they are fair and equitable. One of the changes we made for example, was to incorporate the evolution of expression into our policies and train our enforcement teams to better understand more nuanced content like cultural appropriation and slurs. If a member of a disenfranchised group, such as the Black community, uses a word as a term of empowerment, we want our enforcement teams to understand the context behind it and not mistakenly take the content down. On the other hand, if a slur is being used hatefully, it doesn't belong on TikTok. Educating our enforcement teams on these crucial distinctions is ongoing work, and we strive to get this right for our community.

We also continue to work with our Content Advisory Council, a group of independent online safety experts who are experts in a wide range of issue areas including race, hate speech, bullying and harassment, and misinformation. These experts help inform the work we do in regards to the technology we build and the policies we enact for our diverse community of users. We're also investing in unconscious bias training for our moderation team and the training includes education to better support underrepresented groups.

Engaging our workforce

Internally, our employees are blazing trails and advancing the efforts of our Diversity & Inclusion Council. In March, we hosted the first week-long TikTok Inclusion Summit to engage employees around three key pillars: Learn, Live, and Lead. The event featured a number of sessions, shedding light on how leaders can foster diversity and inclusion both on our platform and in our organization. We were also proud to launch BLXCK (Black X) as one of the first official Employee Resource Groups (ERG) to connect and support the advancement of Black talent at TikTok. BLXCK recently led efforts for TikTok to join Talent x Opportunity (TxO), an accelerator program led by Andreessen Horowitz. TxO entrepreneurs will also join TikTok's second Support Black Business cohort.

In recognition of Juneteenth, we again closed all US offices and encouraged employees to use the day to reflect on how far we've come as a country, how much further we still have to go, and how we all as individuals can make a difference in the world.

We take great pride and responsibility in knowing that we provide people of all races, ethnicities, cultures, disabilities, genders, and identities a platform to be seen and heard, but we know there's still much more work to done. We're humbled and grateful for the opportunity to continually improve ourselves as a platform, community, and organization.