TikTok nudges users to credit the videos that inspired their posts

A group of Black creators went on strike last year over a lack of attribution for their efforts.


TikTok is rolling out a feature that will make it easier for users to give appropriate credit to a creator who inspired one of their videos. A new button that's rolling out over the next few weeks will allow you to tag, mention and credit a video in the description.

Users have long been able to tag each other, but this is a bigger push to encourage them to give proper credit to the original work. When you riff on someone else's dance move, joke, meme or audio, adding attribution for their TikTok will be more straightforward.

After you create or edit a TikTok, you'll see a new "video" icon on the posting page. Tap that, and you'll be able to choose a video that you've favorited, liked or posted, or that shares the same sound as your TikTok. Once you pick a video that inspired you, TikTok will add it as a mention in the caption. The app will explain the crediting feature after you tap the video icon for the first time. Users will also be notified when one of their videos is tagged in this way.


"Today, we're introducing new tools to better enable creator credit and equitable attribution for our creator community and content originators," Kudzi Chikumbu, TikTok's creator community director, wrote in a blog post. "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."

Attribution (or lack thereof) is a thorny issue on TikTok and other platforms. Last June, many Black creators on TikTok went on strike. They stopped sharing dance challenges and instead called out the lack of credit they were receiving in an attempt to gain more recognition.

Rick Lewis, for instance, appeared in one TikTok as though they were about to share a dance they created for a Megan Thee Stallion song, before flipping the bird at the camera and switching to a caption that read "Sike. This app would be nothing without Black people." Their TikTok, inevitably, was co-opted by another creator, who racked up nearly a million views (twice as many as Lewis' original) with their spin on it.

The move follows the rollout of the YouTube Shorts remix feature, which automatically includes attribution for the original video's creator. TikTok's approach, however, will require users to manually add credit for the original work.

Meanwhile, Chikumbu says TikTok is working to lift up the creators of trends through initiatives like its Originators series. The Creator Portal also stresses the importance of including proper attribution for trend originators, including tips on how to find them.