Viola Davis in The Woman King

Oscars So White (Again)

Tyre Nichols, SNL, and the TikTok algorithm

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🎵 Top Sounds 🎵

Our curated picks of the top sounds on TikTok

  1. Favorite Food? 🤔Use this sound to answer whatever prompt you feel like. Bonus, if the answers are all rather similar and there’s a twist at the end.
  2. I Have This Thing… 🧠This sound is being used by creators to show how their brains work.
  3. De-influencing 🧘When I say this is one of my favorite trends, I really mean it. I am fascinated by the concept of de-influencing, especially as a woman deeply susceptible to over-consumption (I’m a work in progress! I’m still fighting the urge to get Apple AirPod Maxes!)
  4. OMG 💅This is sound made for k-pop idols… and the president of Ireland’s dog (I don’t even know if someone made an edit yet, but if y’all don’t I will). Be sure to pair with this filter (unhinged example, I know).
  5. Ceilings 🥺Soft, somewhat sad, music that has been trending as background noise for GRWM’s and vlogs.

🔉 Our Sound Highlight 🔉

The Among Us Potion From The Dark Web

Mood: eyes emoji

This is a sound made for the truly questionable items in the world. Like the food in Home Goods, or the skincare serums at TJ Maxx.

👹 Effects Highlight 👹

Use this CapCut filter to show a transition or glow-up. The glow-up can be anything from discarding old diet-culture habits to product improvements you’ve made (bye, SHEIN!). Be sure to pair it with this sound.

 The Moment 

Issues that are at the forefront of online discourse – Tyre Nichols.

Just north of downtown Sacramento, there’s a quiet suburban neighborhood, and in between rows of beige suburban homes, are dozens of pocket-sized parks. This neighborhood has been my off-and-on home for the past few years. And on Monday night there was a vigil in one of those parks, that I know so well, held by the childhood friends of a man who was not much older than myself when he was murdered by police. His name was Tyre Nichols.

It strikes me how this murder, which occurred over two thousand miles away in Memphis, can be so deeply felt in both communities. That’s the thing about police violence, it affects innumerable communities.

There are mourners all over the country. Those who knew Tyre, and those who know too well the cycle of police violence.

It has a rhythm, this cycle. First, the graphic videos and photos of murder, then discourse that seems to purposely mistake systemic violence for individual choices. Something that particularly sticks out when five of the six officers responsible for Tyre’s death were Black. It’s familiar how deep-rooted racism is flattened into ‘unconscious bias,’ how ableism in policing ignored is ignored. All before, the pen ink dries on the contract of a book deal for some MSNBC contributor, and one of your white friends posts something about ally fatigue. And then it is all re-set until the next police killing. Perhaps, with some pedantry over vocabulary and increased police budgets in between.

It’s clear we have to stop this cycle. We’ve had enough talk of ‘starting the conversation’ and ‘reform.’ If we want to save lives, we need transformation.

☕ The Zeitgeist ☕

Hot topics from across the internet

  • Aubrey Plaza, Tony Hawk, and the Property Brothers were on SNL, oh, and the President of the United States too.
  • Micheal Imperioli did an AD home tour— minimalists, beware.
  • I will be leading the charge against the Academy Awards, for doing Viola Davis so dirty.
    • And no disrespect to Miss Armas but Blonde? BLONDE? The movie with the CGI fetus and the weird anti-choice messaging?
  • TikTok’s CEO will testify before Congress, and representatives have been increasingly vocal in their critiques of the company.
  • Succession is back, baby! Or it will be soon, per the season 4 trailer.
  • J-Lo is in multiple wedding movies, which is a thing I just learned— I really thought this was all one movie.

🥡 The Takeaway 🥡

TikTok’s algorithm has been going through a series of changes.

TikTok’s algorithm is notoriously opaque. In the last edition of this newsletter, I discussed how TikTok has been selecting content to go viral via a ‘heating’ tool. The Forbes leak was less a revelation and more a confirmation of suspicions. For all the lack of transparency, a lot of how TikTok operates makes sense by following the patterns of previous social media giants. YouTube boosted performance for celebrities to attract them to the platform, and now TikTok is doing the same. Instagram stole adapted the story feature from Snapchat, and now TikTok is pushing the ‘photos’ function as far as they can.

If you think of TikTok as a successor to an era of social media giants, as well as a competitor with those giants, you can take an educated guess about where the platform is going. Further, when you consider the economics of these platforms you can sense what will motivate future developments (hello, advertisers!).

I’m not saying innovation is dead. TikTok, and other platforms, will undoubtedly seek to improve upon the challenges faced by their competitors and predecessors but by looking at those challenges, we can try to develop strategies that keep up with platform developments.

Made it to the end of this newsletter? Here’s a treat, African cinema and LOTR.
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