So, it seems in recent months there has been trouble brewing for Witches and Pagans who’ve been sharing content on TikTok. Discrimination in the form of “mass reporting” leading to “shadowbanning.” In other words, posted content blocked without their knowledge.
According to sources, there are Christians waging an alleged campaign against witches (or others they don’t like). People who comment on videos, tagging them to their friends with a comment (such as “She’s a Witch!”) then sending mass reports against the Witch to moderators.
Cos-players and LGBTQ folk are experiencing this as well. Actions, that can result in content creators being banned from their accounts, no longer eligible for the Creator Fund, etc. They are allowed to appeal the decision but there is no guarantee it will go in their favor. This is unacceptable and should not go unchallenged. Witches are allowed to have a voice on TikTok or any other platform!
Free To Create — Mostly
Perhaps this doesn’t seem like a “big deal” to some folks. It’s social media, right? But any time one group of people (in this case, reportedly Christians with an ax to grind) single out others for “removal” from the service because they don’t like their content or approve of their message? Nope. It’s time to speak out.
Because while Donald Trump, White Supremacists, and other hateful individuals or groups are violating community standards when they foment violence, misogyny, homophobia, discrimination, etc., and it is correct for them to be removed, blocked, or banned from social media; the Witches, Pagans, CosPlayers, and LGBTQ communities of TikTok are not. They are sharing information, having fun, and expressing their viewpoints, or engaging in debate/responses with other people.
So let’s be clear. These videos are being reported because the creators are Witches, Pagans, LGBTQ, CosPlayers. That’s the only reason. False reporters are passing judgment on these individuals based on personal religious beliefs/prejudices, not because the content of the video violates any of TicTok’s community standards.
These are individuals who want their own content to be shared/heard but wish to silence all those who stand opposed, have a different viewpoint, or follow another deity.
Space For Everyone
Here’s the thing. With the exception of groups or individuals out to harm, coerce, or abuse others, there is room in social media for all of us. Christians. Witches. Pagans. Buddhists. Atheists. Psychics. LGBTQ, Muggles, et al. People of different beliefs, backgrounds, ethnicities, countries –you name it. Social media has made it possible for all of these voices to be heard and life experiences to be shared.
And there is a strong witchcraft community on TikTok, many of whom are young and tech-savvy. They share a lot of great content. Is it (or any social media site) the best place to get spiritual or magickal information? Maybe, maybe not. I did write a blog post about TikTok Witches Hexing the Fae, after all.
However, if through these videos witches are connecting and learning then more power to them. And I will be damned if I will be silent while even one of these creators is being subjected to a “witch hunt.” Figurative or literal.
So, I’m encouraging those witches who do not have a TikTok account to join me if you care to do so (as I do have one). Follow and support some of these younger witches, and others who are making videos. Drop some knowledge on people. This is the 21st century. While some of us who are older may struggle with the change, we do have the option to embrace it.
Sometimes You Gotta Make A Stand
Yes. There are Christians who use TikTok (or other social media platforms) to sow fear against witchcraft, Paganism, etc. Like “Evangelist/Missionary Barbie” trying to “deliver/exorcise” the witches, pagans (and anyone she doesn’t approve of) by staring into the camera and “rebuking” spirits and deities with her “authority in Jesus.”
Alright, I know to do that is an Evangelical-Pentecostal-Deliverance Ministry-Christian kinda thing. I could be really snarky here but I’m going to refrain. But feel free to imagine the rolling eyes and single raised brow. Because —really? Okay. So, the snark has always been here.
I believe it takes tremendous hubris to create and share that kind of video (among others), but “Evangelist/Missionary Barbie” isn’t violating the rules. And to my knowledge, no one is trying to kick her off the platform for being a Christian or posting (*cough* ridiculous *cough*) content. Sure. She gets a lot of comments and rebuttals for her opinions which is fair. Witches and those who are not Christian should be allowed to do the same.
But in my opinion, if the “report the Witches” campaign continues, maybe we send emails to TikTok, letting them know their rules are being manipulated to discriminate against and silence people by those who don’t like or disagree with those doing the reporting.
Do Unto Others…
We should not tolerate hate speech, religious bigotry, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, or racism. Those attitudes and words should have no space IRL or in our online communities. Period. And we need to make a stand when necessary in whatever way is appropriate for the moment, time, and venue. The TikTok Witches (and all those who are being “shadowbanned” on that service) have the right to be there as much as anyone.
I’m not an alarmist. But I do see the situation on TikTok (or other social media sites if it is happening there) as concerning. If for nothing else because it may affect some people’s ability to bring a little extra cash into their pocket simply because they are a Witch.
While the witchcraft and Pagan communities are growing (and have been for a couple of decades now), we are still “in the margin.” And we need to watch out for one another. Stick together. Because many witches are out of the “broom closet” blazing a trail through the overculture with abandon. Many religious folks do not want that to continue.
Witches are now recognized as “real” in mainstream society. Paganism and all its varieties have their place within the spectrum of religions. But there is so much more the world needs to understand about us.
Witches, we must remember how lucky we are in this country to have the freedom to express ourselves in our lives, religions, beliefs, etc. Let’s not allow others with their own agendas to silence us. TikTok Witches are here to stay, as we all are in our own sphere of influence IRL or online. It’s up to us to make it so.