A lingerie brand took to Twitter and accused TikTok of disproportionately suppressing the company's video content which included plus-sized women, women of color and disabled people, BuzzFeed News reported.
The New York-based lingerie company Adore Me made the accusations in a 22-part tweet thread outlining the company's differing experiences trying to post videos of people who "look different," video examples and even some consistent reporting about problematic policies at TikTok.
Adore Me's thread began with an intentional announcement they were serious and planned to be heard.
We're taking a break from tweeting about lingerie today to have an important conversation about TikTok. The app's… https://t.co/6zOI60fW6R— Adore Me (@Adore Me) 1612459530.0
They absolutely were heard.
Thousands retweeted the post and news outlets picked up the story. Adore Me began by explaining their understanding lingerie presents more consideration than some other content.
And yet, they shared how much worse TikTok seemed to be about handling it than other platforms.
The app’s seeming randomness for content removal is well-known within the industry.— Adore Me (@Adore Me) 1612459531.0
A report by The Intercept was included to back up their claim.
That article included internal memos from TikTok showing employees were advised to make sure the platform did not recommend videos including:
"Abnormal body shape, chubby, have obvious beer belly, obese, or too thin (not limited to dwarf, acromegaly)"
This was covered at length last year by numerous publications, yet a simple denial from TikTok (along with the fant… https://t.co/xmQ8HxoPhy— Adore Me (@Adore Me) 1612459533.0
The company told The Intercept the documents, "represented an early blunt attempt at preventing bullying, but are no longer in place, and were already out of use when The Intercept obtained them."
But according to Adore Me's VP of strategy Ranjan Roy, the discrimination felt alive as ever:
"At first we just kind of assumed, Lingerie, a new platform, maybe they're being more aggressive on brand safety."
However, when Roy saw TikTok treated two similar videos very differently—the one created by a Black person was taken down and the one created by a White person remained up—he inquired, to no avail.
"As a decently large brand, we'll get a response, and the response is usually 'thank you for the inquiry, we're looking into it,' and then absolutely nothing from there,.
So Adore Me took the same inquiry to the court of public opinion in the remainder of the recent Twitter thread.
This is even more crucial given the confirmed, public documentation around how the TikTok algorithm was built to discriminate.— Adore Me (@Adore Me) 1612459591.0
Adore Me's mission has always pushed to make lingerie and fashion more inclusive. We work with models of all shapes… https://t.co/onXz9tZPTF— Adore Me (@Adore Me) 1612459592.0
It's time to have an honest, open conversation about how the fastest-growing platform that has come to define fast-… https://t.co/uWrXlcwaqn— Adore Me (@Adore Me) 1612459593.0
Adore Me posted some of the videos TikTok took down.
Shine on, ladies.
And this one... https://t.co/IBXXRpMM9D— Adore Me (@Adore Me) 1612459552.0
...this one... https://t.co/evEt7zAoz7— Adore Me (@Adore Me) 1612459560.0
The Twitter community expressed how grateful they were for Adore Me's vocal advocacy.
@AdoreMe I appreciate your brand so much! Thanks for sticking up for women! Side note: I’m a loyal customer and dis… https://t.co/uqzW95vJgU— Becca Kellett (@Becca Kellett) 1612477846.0
@AdoreMe Thank you so much for speaking up and taking the time to share with us. The message you all send is so i… https://t.co/foC4Hj3Xql— Bri Kristine 🖤 (@Bri Kristine 🖤) 1612462315.0
@AdoreMe WOW! This whole thread is very compelling. And the Internal Memos from TikTok are disgusting! This is gr… https://t.co/DWk2VctFJn— Marcy Clark (@Marcy Clark) 1612550953.0
@AdoreMe Absolutely nothing offensive about these posts they are above excellent💯 🥰— Tangy Info (@Tangy Info) 1612657910.0
If the Twitter comments are any indication, here lies an example of how one company successfully managed to be an ally, play a small part in enacting change toward inclusivity and even market themselves without it being distasteful.