Failing to credit original creators will cost platforms users. TikTok has come under fire for this in the past, and it's now trying to keep original creators on the app with new attribution tools.
The platform announced it's rolling out the ability to directly tag, mention and credit a video in the description on Wednesday. TikTok is also adding more prompts to credit original users in the process of posting a video. Once a user creates or edits a TikTok video, they can tap on a tag page and select the content that uses the same sound. That tag will be added as a mention in the video's caption.
"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," Kudzi Chikumbu, TikTok's director of the Creator Community, said in a release.
The new features — which will be released over the next few weeks — are an effort to ensure creators behind some of the most popular dances stay on the platform. Last June, Black TikTok creators went on strike for the lack of credit they receive for creating dances that often go viral as they proliferate across the platform (and often jump off of it). For example, Charli D’Amelio, a white creator, blew up on TikTok with a dance to “Lottery (Renegade)” by Atlanta rapper K Camp. Yet she only credited the Black creator behind the dance, Jalaiah Harmon, after gaining millions of new followers.
Since then, TikTok and Instagram have taken some steps to better credit original creators and support Black creators specifically. But the problem extends far beyond merely recognizing Black creators for their work; users have also called for compensation for videos that get big on TikTok and criticized the platform for racial bias.
"It's important to see a culture of credit take shape across the digital landscape and to support underrepresented creators in being properly credited and celebrated for their work," Chikumbu said in the release. "We're eager to see how these new creator crediting tools inspire more creativity and encourage trend attribution across the global TikTok community."
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the day of the announcement. This story was updated on May 18, 2022.