What's Trending?

 #Trending on TikTok – Top Hashtags Over the Past Few Weeks

#NativeFamily – Topics surrounding indigenous populations have been trending after CNN posted demographic voting data that discriminated against the unnamed Native population. At the top was White at 65%, followed by Latino at 13% and then Black at 12%. However, it is what came next that shocked a lot of internet users. The next category, at 6% said ‘something else’, then at the bottom was Asian. People on Twitter and other social platforms quickly started to work out exactly which nationality the ‘something else’ category was allegedly referring to. With White, Latino, Black and Asian already in the list, there was only one race left that hadn’t been mentioned – Native Americans, the indigenous people of the United States, and in America, there are currently 574 federally recognized tribes who make up this category of people. Twitter users instantly began arguing that CNN allegedly wrote ‘something else’ rather than Native Americans, and it was turned into a viral meme, post and hashtag. - HITC



#ShopBlack –– With the #BlackLivesMatter movement highlighting the ongoing challenges of racial inequality in the US, and research showing that Black-owned businesses have been closing at twice the rate of other SMBs during the pandemic, TikTok has this week announced a new set of initiatives to play its part in supporting Black-owned businesses as we head into the holiday sales period.  First off, TikTok has launched a new online hub to provide Black business owners with support and education to help maximize sales.

The hub provides links to various announcements and initiatives, which also includes a new #ShopBlack campaign, which aims to further amplify and celebrate Black-owned businesses on the platform. 

"Starting on November 10th, the TikTok community will be invited to participate in the #ShopBlack hashtag challenge by creating videos that spotlight their favorite Black-owned businesses, or by sharing their own story as a Black entrepreneur." TikTok says that more than 40 Black Shopify merchants across the US and Canada will be featured on the Support Black Businesses website, enabled by its recently announced partnership with the online commerce platform. "...and from November 10-15 the TikTok community will be able to explore their businesses and products through the #ShopBlack hashtag and branded effect." - Social Media Today

#STEMLife – A woman studying science posted a video on TikTok of "live footage of being a woman in STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics]."Claire McDonnell's recording of a call with her peers shows her repeatedly being interrupted by men. McDonnell, 22, is one of four women studying a graduate science and finance program at the University of Iowa, alongside around 60 men, according to Buzzfeed. The video has now been viewed 2.5 million times.

McDonnell is not the only woman in STEM using TikTok to highlight sexism and the lack of diversity in the industry. Over the past month, lots of other women have been posting humorous but also impactful videos on the platform to show the reality of life as a woman in science and tech. - Insider

Restriction & Distrust of Election Talk on Social Media

Twitter said on Thursday (November 12th) that it had labeled as disputed 300,000 tweets related to the presidential election, or 0.2 percent of the total on the subject, even as some users continued sharing misleading information about the outcome.

The disclosure made Twitter the first major social media platform to publicly evaluate its performance during the 2020 election. Its revelations followed intense criticism by President Trump and other Republicans, who have said Twitter’s fact-checking efforts silenced conservative voices.

Twitter, Facebook and Google have faced scrutiny since their platforms were used during the 2016 presidential race to mount misinformation campaigns intended to sow division between Americans and discourage them from voting. The companies vowed that this year’s election would be different, and spent billions of dollars to revamp their policies. - NY Times 

From 2015 to 2020, trust in media fell from 25 percent to 13 percent among conservative-leaning respondents, according to the institute’s annual poll on news habits. Among left-leaning respondents, trust grew slightly, to 39 percent from 35 percent, according to the latest results, which were published in June.

The declining trust in news has been years in the making and coincides with rising use of social media as a main source of information. In 2020, social media was a source of news for 48 percent of the public, up from 27 percent in 2013, according to the Reuters Institute.

The divide has created an environment where even basic facts are not agreed upon, making it easier for President Trump and others to spread falsehoods about the election results, said Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, director of the institute. He said right-wing media outlets did not have the same fact-checking rigor and instead served as an echo chamber, helping nurture the belief that the election was rigged despite lack of credible evidence.

This week, Politico published a poll finding that 70 percent of Republicans do not believe the election was free and fair.

“People on the right have lost faith in the news media,” Mr. Nielsen said in an interview. “It has created an environment where a significant part of the American public feels alienated from established news media, but they still want information and seek it out.” He said the situation in the United States stood out from other Western democracies because the media had become increasingly polarized, particularly on the right, and Republican political leaders were more willing to spread falsehoods. Any attempt at regulation or intervention by internet platforms, Mr. Nielsen said, will be seen as “an attempt to stifle their voices and marginalize them from public life.” - NY Times 

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