It’s a pattern of exploitation that’s existed in digital spaces long before TikTok rose to prominence. Writing in Wired in 2016, for example, Latoya Peterson noted how short-for video progenitor Vine also overlooked Black creators who gave the platform some of its most enduring and original output. On TikTok, though, the problem of attribution is arguably intensified by the app’s capacity to spread viral trends through shared audio and hashtags.
Keeping creators happy is a big part of maintaining a platform’s longevity, which TikTok’s director of creator community, Kudzi Chikumbu, alluded to in a post announcing the change.
“These features are an important step in our ongoing commitment to investing in resources and product experiences that support a culture of credit, which is central to ensuring TikTok remains a home for creative expression,” wrote Chikumbu. “Whether taking part in the latest trend, adding a punchline to a joke, or creating the next viral sound, creators can easily and directly cite their inspiration.”