Hey TikTok Influencers: You Can’t Be Pro-Black and Anti-Voting

Myron Clifton
5 min readOct 25, 2023

The speed at which TikTok “influencers” & social justice warriors, movie reviewers, and makeup artists reflexively and in unison turned Anti-Biden saying they won’t vote, then started repeating Russian propaganda is making me rethink laughing at the gop for wanting to ban TikTok.

So many of them have posts calling out white supremacy, advocating for Black folk, indigenous folk, and the lgbtqi community… but the war between Israel and Hamas is their “launch point” for harmful anti-Biden rhetoric.

Pro Tip: You can’t be pro-Black and Anti-Voting. Anti-Voting cancels any and all advocacy.

Anti-Voting specifically harms Black people and Black communities. It harms our seniors, children, schools, healthcare, and finances.

Anti-Voting is a targeted attack on Black people. It is digital voter suppression and gerrymandering.

And of course Anti-Voting is anti-lgbtqi, anti-indigenous, anti-immigrant, and in this environment anti-Jewish and anti-Palestinian.

It’s anti-woman and it is anti-social media. That’s how dumb those calling for not voting are. They’re advocating for their own silencing.

Like Twitter and Facebook, TikTok has national and global reach. But unlike Twitter and Facebook, TikTok has extremely large accounts run by everyday folk who have followers that number in the hundreds of thousands.

Your little Twitter following of 5k, 10k, 20k, 50k or hell, 200k, are nothing compared to what you’ll see on TikTok from a person who does makeup tutorials, cooks, organizes refrigerators, or talk over videos made by other creators. Their total views and comments are often in the millions.

A TikToc influencer will have 400k-1m followers. A look at their content shows that it is all basic stuff that would equal 20–40k on Twitter and even fewer followers on Threads, Spoutible, or Facebook.

But now those shockingly large accounts have been weaponized against democrats, democracy, President Biden, and, by extension, Black people.

Just in the time for the 2024 election.

The Chinese owned company, notoriously “fickle” when it comes to minimizing views and content monetization of Black creators, suddenly has no problem pushing anti-voting messages all users, but especially to Black users.

What is new isn’t new.

Just like at Twitter when notorious racist Elon Musk took over, or at Facebook when Mark Zuckerberg allowed foreign and domestic voter suppression groups to target Black voters, what we are seeing isn’t new, unique, or particularly creative. The tactics are as old as gerrymandering, voter suppression, poll taxes, voter intimidation, and other American-born efforts designed to prevent Black people from voting.

And yet, I don’t think people should flee from TikTok. Knowledgeable users have to counter the anti-voting propaganda.

And quickly.

We saw what Facebook did in 2016 & 2020 with surgical targeting of Black voters, led by Russia, Steve Bannon, Trump, and Cambridge Analytica. They worked twenty-four hours a day to depress and siphon Black male voters — with some success.

We are witnessing the various Trump lawyers being charged for trying to eliminate Black votes in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and other states.

We have a year until the 2024 election. But we don’t have a year to counter the anti-Biden and anti-voting, anti-democratic party, and the anti-democracy movement that’s rapidly growing on TikTok.

The latest attack on Black voters from TikTok surfaced after Hamas attacked Israel and Israel responded.

The misinformation, old videos, and planted disinformation of course made its way to the Chinese-owned fast growing social media site. Influencers who built large following by joining with Black people to call out racism — including by the TikTok app — and social injustice.

As soon as the war started they pivoted with alarming quickness to condemning President Biden and advocating not voting for him/not voting.

They’ve turned their advocacy for Black people to advocacy against Black people voting.

Nevermind every U.S. president since World War II has unequivocally supported Israel, provided technological, military, economical, and intelligence data and information, TikTok’s influencer class has decided that now is the time to rise against democrats by targeting the party’s most loyal voters.

These influencers apparently aren’t worried about Trump saying he will immediately implement a ban on Muslims, extend the war against Palestine, Iran, Syria, and block any Palestinians from coming to America.

They aren’t worried about regaining the Senate, retaining the House, installing more judges, or the next Supreme Court appointments. They aren’t worried about women’s right to an abortion, public school funding, more student debt eliminated, or stopping Russia from expanding its war beyond Ukraine. They do not care about healthcare, unions, the environment, sanity at the border, or fairness in the tax code.

No, they think that the people who should be punished for the Israel versus Hamas war are… Black Americans.

TikTok influencers are good at making entertaining videos on a wide range of topics, of creating new dances, and launching musical sounds. They help writers and authors, showcase small brands and small creators, and they provide a space for people to creatively interact, teach, make laugh, and clarify on short videos.

That is the strength of the app. But if that strength is now being weaponized against Black voters leading many to call for the banning of the app. The influence the Chinese government on the app and thus on US elections is a growing concern that is showing itself even more so than it had during the last election.

People who have no real interest in Black lives, who have no knowledge or care of the centuries of work our ancestors and families undertook to gain the right to vote, to be able to vote in safety, and to have our votes counted equally with white votes, should never be listened to when they tell us not to vote.

The influencers do not care about the harm we will endure with another republican president — Trump or any other republican.

All they care about are views, clicks, and sponsorships.

What we care about is the health and wellbeing of our lives, the lives of our family and friends, and about the protection of democracy.



Myron Clifton

Indie published author, Voice Memos Podcast, Dear Dean EMagazine owner, Blogger at Medium. Myron Clifton on Spoutible. Check out my books at link below. 👨🏾‍💻