Woman films protesters on June 2 in Los Angeles - Al Seib / Los Angeles Times / REX / SIPA

  • Since the death of George Floyd and the start of anti-racism protests in the United States, the hashtag "Black Lives Matter" has taken off on TikTok.
  • Users express their anger, their support, but also give their advice for future protests.
  • The power of mobilization on the social network inspires some to compare it with the “Arab Spring. "

"If you are going to demonstrate, here are some tips that may be very useful to you. For a minute, Brittany explains to her 2.5 million subscribers how to best express her anger on the street safely. She does not post her video on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, but on TikTok. Usually reserved for dance challenges and humorous content, the platform has taken a more militant turn since the death of George Floyd and the protests that ensued around the globe.

Eight billion. This is the number of videos viewed with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, which has been one of the most popular trends since the end of May. Around these three unifying words, we no longer dance, we no longer laugh and we no longer move our hips. Now, we call on his creativity: users take shock photos, paint their pain on their bodies and sing to pay tribute to George Floyd. The artistic soul of the social network has therefore not disappeared, but puts itself at the service of the fight that an entire generation, that which uses TikTok, is ready to lead.

A “storytelling platform” for 800 million users

Like Brittany, thousands are taking over TikTok to enrich the movement. "Those who are in Britain, these are the laws that the police will use to arrest you during the demonstrations", "I have seen lots of TikTok on what to do with tear gas, but I will teach you how to make a tourniquet if you are injured, "so start hundreds of videos. The power of the social network in the emergence of the protest is reminiscent of the "Arab Spring", whose demonstrations were organized online. Facebook and Twitter then also allowed the Arab world to bypass the official media.

“The Arab Spring was a source of mobilization on Twitter. We see something similar today on TikTok, says Kadisha Phillips, social media analyst, quoted by Reuters. Even if it is the place of viral dances, TikTok has also become a storytelling platform. It's interesting because people tell stories that spread very quickly. "

The best way to "get things done"

More than 500,000 contents have been published with the song “This Is America”, by Childish Gambino. His poignant clip deals with the issues of firearms, racism and police violence, and lends itself perfectly to the news. This unifying piece is an opportunity for hundreds of thousands of young people to express their anger, their pain and their fear. That's what Solène, an 18-year-old Frenchwoman, decided to do.

In a video that has exceeded two million views, she joins the "Black Lives Matter" movement to "get things done when we don't have the power to make them happen differently on our scale." "The question of the platform on which Solène was going to speak did not arise very long:" Tiktok is the place where I have the most audience, the influence is very strong and the freedom of speech also. I knew that the video was going to shoot quickly on this network, ”she says.

Oppose traditional media

Solène, who is approaching a million subscribers, believes that videos linked to the movement are an opportunity to keep the young generation abreast of current events, to motivate those who would like to take part and to increase the strength of protests. “Some do it for likes, others for the cause, some for both. The most important thing is that the message gets through, whatever the intention, ”she puts it into perspective.

TikTok, a privileged platform for people under 18 to have fun with friends, puts on a new costume. From now on, we no longer go there solely to make challenges but also to inform ourselves and “show what we do not see in traditional media. The social network also joined forces with the European Union in early June, by subscribing to the Code of good practice against disinformation. Instead of gathering in front of their television, young people are massing themselves on the hashtags of TikTok. So, that's it, the high mass at 8 p.m., is it really over?


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  • By the Web
  • Demonstration
  • Minneapolis
  • George Floyd
  • Police violence
  • Racism
  • TikTok