TikTok Pride event shut down in minutes after homophobes and racists target LGBT+ creators with hate
TikTok organised what was supposed to be a day-long Pride event for LGBT+ creators, but it was shut down in minutes by racists and homophobes.
TikTok “MyPride” was intended to virtually “celebrate the diverse and incredible LGBT+ creator community on TikTok” during Pride Month.
The event, held via Zoom on Thursday (June 25) was to include panels, workshops and conversations with queer creators and company employees.
But within minutes of it starting, the call was overrun by racist and homophobic trolls.
According to Business Insider, the TikTok Pride event’s text chat was flooded from the start with messages about Donald Trump, “straight pride”, and Chick-fil-A, the US fast food company which has donated millions of dollars to homophobic and transphobic groups.
The chat was also filled with racist and homophobic slurs.
TikTok Pride event hijacked by hate.
When the first speaker began, the text chat was disabled by organisers, trolls took over the call by blasting audio that contained more racist slurs.
Within minutes, organisers had ended the call.
The social media platform later wrote on Twitter: “Today’s #MyPride event was meant to be a celebration of our community and of authenticity, self-love, and inclusivity.
“Unfortunately, some bad actors — who were not invited to the Zoom event — interrupted the start of the celebratory event with extremely hurtful, harmful comments.
“We want to express our heartfelt apologies to those who took the time to join this special community event before it was sabotaged.
“This inappropriate incident in no way reflects our support for you and should have no reflection on the spirit and uplifting nature of Pride.”
But some LGBT+ TikTok users and creators were not convinced by the apology.
Don’t ya’ll shadowban have the lgbtqia people on your app?
— Britney Brody (@Lovinlatex) June 22, 2020
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They criticised the platform for failing to properly secure the call, and for the app’s history of suppressing and censoring LGBT+ content.
TikTok creator ikisspuppy told Business Insider: “I was never confident in TikTok’s idea of ‘support’ in the first place.
“It’s actually quite obvious they don’t care. They shadowban [suppress] LGBTQ+ content, creators, and have miraculously done [this event] because they’ve faced severe backlash.
“Whatever ‘support’ they speak of is an effect of them being caught.”
Zoombombing, joining a Zoom meeting uninvited as a form of trolling, has become a fast-growing trend as events have gone virtual and people have turned to video calls to stay connected with friends, family and colleagues.
Members of the LGBT+ community have reported being zoombombed with homophobic abuse, while a number of people have had their video calls interrupted with nudity and hardcore pornography.
PinkNews has contacted TikTok for comment.