Are Babies Racist?

If we step away from the incident at the Oscars and look closer at the responses, certain themes emerge

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🎵 Top Sounds 🎵

Our curated picks of the top sounds on TikTok

  1. I Hate You, Miss Paltrow A sound reserved for expressing hate.
  2. Just a Cloud Away 
    This cheerful sound is frequently paired with a story.
  3. Microsoft Teams Remix This sound is your brain on a Friday 4 pm meeting. If you have work content to put out consider using this.
  4. Back When I Was Younger It is popular for a reason. There’s broad applicability to all kinds of videos.
  5. Do You Have To? 
    This is a relatable sound for anyone who has ever had to respond to a question that really didn’t need to be asked in the first place.
  6. You Don’t Have To Be Perfect- But I Do! You just know this is built for Ketanji Brown Jackson versus all those Republican questions. Like Ted Cruz more or less asking if she thinks babies are racist. Unbridled foolishness.
  7. Gentlemen, This Is Democracy Manifest This is a fun sound from an old Australian viral moment. But I think at least the first part has some wonderful advocacy content potential. Best to use while being a little melodramatic. Here’s what originated the trend.

🔉 Our Sound Highlight 🔉

From Miami, My Amy


This sound is paired with a green screen of ‘reactions’ to the creator in the video. For example, telling people you’re going to community college and getting “support.”

📺 Video Highlight 📺

Get comfortable and listen up, Rana Abdelhamid is turning heads. This web exclusive TikTok skillfully utilizes the storytelling trend on TikTok to tell a personal anecdote about over-policing in the NY public school education system. It’s a relaxed tell-all that hardly feels like the political ad it’s supposed to be. This video getting around in the TikTok community and we encourage others to open up their hearts, tell their story, and follow suit!

🌞 Impact Account 🌞

An organization getting content right— Amazon Labor Union

Congratulations to ALU and the workers at JFK8 who succeeded in becoming the FIRST Amazon workers to unionize. We love to see workers win. And on a personal note, I hope this inspires other FCs, like the one my mother works at, to unionize. This account highlights the organizing that has gone into this election. Yes, they also make wonderful use of sounds but the true success of the account is letting the cause speak for itself.

🔮 Trend Forecast 🔮

More sounds that play around with transitions as a means of storytelling and showing contrasts. Here’s a great example that takes you from the MTA to the Champs-Elysées.

🔭 Tactic Watch 🔭

The tactic you might want to use in your advocacy content— storytelling.

Taking a look at TikTok’s decision to extend the maximum video length to 10 minutes and a recent upward trend in the popularity of storytelling videos, we can sense a shift happening on the platform. While competitors try to figure out short-form video content (reels, YouTube Shorts, etc) TikTok is pushing back by carving out more space for itself in long-form content. Creators are ready to produce the content, and evidence may suggest TikTok is pulling viewers away from more than just social media but also from streaming platforms like Netflix. What this means for TikTok accounts is investing time in growing a distinct voice and narrative style.

 The Moment 

Issues that are at the forefront of online discourse— carceral language

Due to certain events, the internet exploded into discourse. You’ll have seen every manner of take if you so much as dipped a toe into the toxic quag that is post-Oscars Twitter (or if you read our summary of the discourse). By the time this newsletter lands in your inbox, I truly hope the internet has moved on. Regardless of whether it has, one element of the emerging online conversation remains prescient— carceral language and definitions of violence.

If we step away from the incident at the Oscars and look closer at the responses certain themes emerge. One response was to use specific legal definitions and to focus on the ways Will Smith should have been removed, reprimanded, arrested, and/or punished. The second category was to gesture to ways other Black people have responded to stress or being demeaned. A recurring example was to point to Ketanji Brown Jackson and her husband. You could call this the ‘respectability politics’ sphere of discourse (tap shoes not included).

Now, beyond wondering if we are all in fact in hell, there were quite a few insightful discussions on how the outrage has all the hallmarks of carceral thinking. Many people revealed their biases toward carceral solutions through the ways they expressed a desire for police involvement and a strong reprimand. These folks also revealed their racialized notions of ‘acceptable’ behavior and a narrow definition of violence. This is where understanding violence as a nuanced thing comes in. As many have pointed out, actions that are indirect or systemic are also violence.

Now, I’m not here trying to recap the collected works of Angela Davis, but I am here to highlight a moment where a justice issue was discussed by thousands online. Even if it’s because of two wealthy celebrities, and a whole bunch of bad tweets.

☕ The Zeitgeist ☕

Hot topics from across the internet

  • Too many celebrities had opinions. RIP Zoë Kravitz’s reputation online. Also in memoriam: Jim Carey, Mel Gibson, Jamie Lee Curtis and Amy Schumer’s dignity.
  • Do you ever go into goblin mode? Think absolutely feral behavior (pouring the bag of chips directly into your mouth, rejecting the construct of pants). This is the antithesis of the Aesop-buying-beige-and-white-luxury-apartment girlies.
  • The Grammys occurred. Doja Cat had a bag full of Werther’s Originals.
    • Aside: the Recording Academy fully deserves backlash for this.
  • The four-day workweek is now a reality at 38 large US companies.
  • President Biden has extended the student loan pause to August 2022. Thank goodness, our summer vacation plans are saved! Now, if the admin were to cancel my debt… 🛩️
  • Amazon’s planned worker chat app would ban a number of words. Don’t bother typing “union,” “slave labor,” “diversity,” “fairness” or even “restrooms.

🧑🏽‍🎓 Takeaways 🧑🏽‍🎓

We do this work every day and we see the changes to trends and the platform in real-time. We also undertake experimentation work and invest in trying new things. With all that said, here’s what we’ve learned from our campaigns this week:

Meet people where they’re at. You’ve heard this adage before. Hell, this newsletter is based on the premise that creating impact content necessitates an understanding of trends and internet culture. These past weeks we have been reminded of how important it is to craft messaging that fits into where the culture is at.

When people are interested in unions and critiquing anti-union tactics, it makes sense to focus on pro-union content. By paying attention to the conversations being sparked online, you can find opportunities to push those conversations into action. It boils down to this— when people are listening it’s a good time to speak up. You know us, we’re all about staying vocal.

Made it to the end of this newsletter? Enjoy a moment of peace and pure vibes with this video 🌱