TikTok (formerly musical.ly) apologizes for headdress filter, removes it

Vincent Schilling

TikTok apologized to Indian Country Today and said they had removed it immediately upon learning about the filter

As the Indigenous community at large was sharing social media posts for #IndigenousPeoplesDay2018, the music sharing company TikTok (formerly musical.ly) was called out for a headdress filter that could be accessed via live streaming in its smartphone app.

One Twitter user @FoxSpirals wrote “Wow so this is how @tiktok celebrates#IndigenousPeoplesDay2018. Words can’t even muster how insensitive and stupid this is. #TikTok#notcool#TimesUpTikTok.

When the company learned of the headdress filter — meaning a person could talk on camera and a plains-style headdress and war paint would superimpose over the person’s face — they offered an apology to Indian Country Today and said they had removed it immediately upon learning about the filter.

A company representative said the feature was buried in the app that was only accessible to livestreamers with over 1,000 followers.

After merging musical.ly with TikTok, the U.S.-based team says overlooking such a feature was an oversight.

TikTok is a social media smartphone app where users can lip sync to music and or share brief videos and livestreams.

The smartphone app musical.ly started in April 2014 as a music sharing social network app in China and grew to over 90 million registered users in two years. After reaching over 200 million users in 2017, Bytedance Technology Co. who also owns TikTok, bought the company for 1 billion dollars, merged with musical.ly and moved the content to TikTok.

Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor and senior correspondent, Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter -@VinceSchilling

Email -vschilling@indiancountrytoday.com


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Comments (5)
No. 1-1

This is so ridicules. As a Jewish American, should I complain they do Christmas themes and not Hanukkah ones? Or if they do a Jewish one should I complain they are not Jewish and should stop? At what point does this insanity stop? No one was insulting Native Americans on Columbus Day. No one is insulting Indians. It’s a dam AR mask. I would be so happy if they gave one for the Jews, spread some Jew Love!

Maybe we should sue for not doing Jewish ones. Then when the do one we should sue because they are.

Grow up! What about celebrating the fact that your people are being remembered? Or happy that some of the tribe’s cultures are being shown.

Such a stupid complaint! Keep walking Left.