Change Tiktok's community guidelines to protect disabled people.

Change Tiktok's community guidelines to protect disabled people.

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Zebedee Talent started this petition to VANESSA PAPPAS and

Dear Vanessa Pappas,


Tiktok, the platform which you are CEO of, has become a playground for disability hate speech. Except, in your eyes, it seems to be free speech rather than detrimental, demeaning, hate. Tiktok as an app needs to reform its practises towards disabled people not only because of the hate they recieve on the platform, but because of the way Tiktok treats them. As Zebedee are not only a talent agency, but a community for disabled and different people, we want to publicly address the issues that Tiktok pose. 


The treatment of disabled users by Tiktok is astonishingly poor. Videos being labelled as ‘sensitive content, viewer discretion’ that show nothing but a beautiful young woman doing her makeup. Videos removed from the app that show nothing but a beautiful child modelling their new clothes. Entire accounts deleted from the app that displayed nothing but love, beauty and grace. The common denominator? Disability. Tiktok’s response to the issue has been to ignore it for as long as possible, then claim it’s a ‘historical issue’ and eventually, if you’re lucky, your content will be restored. It is a blatant ableism issue. 


The users of Tiktok who comment and spread hate are not being stopped by the platform. The ‘community guidelines’ are not sufficient to protect disabled users from detrimental hate speech. Constant comment filters being added by mothers of children with downs syndrome, rather than the offenders getting punished. A person with a facial disfigurement being told that comments ridiculing them aren’t against community guidelines. A person with physical disabilities being told they should not have been born with no consequences. If pursued, the general response from Tiktok is that the comments are harmless and it requires several complaints to get a comment or user removed. It shouldn’t take months of persistent back and forth with your company to get hate ridden users removed from the app. The combination of hate from users and discrimination from the platform itself is escalating in a manner which is beginning to effect the mental health of disabled users. 


Zebedee Talent are an agency who represent disabled, visibly different, transgender and non-binary people. We work towards an inclusion revolution in the media industry. This issue is extremely important to us and we hope that you take our points seriously. We want to make sure that any of our talent who may work with your company are safe. Please amend your community guidelines. 


Regards,


Zebedee Talent

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