Editor’s note: TikTok is changing how creators give and get credit for their work


Maybe it’s just me—although I hope it isn’t—but I’ve been obsessed with TikTok lately. 

With this obsession, I’ve seen a lot of young creators transform the app, namely through the practice of crediting other creators for their ideas. 

For example, while famous TikTokers such as Charli D’Amelio and Addison Easterling are popular for their dance videos, much of the choreography that they do hasn’t been created by them, but by other users whose dances have gone viral. 

This is a pretty common trend on the app. In my average scroll through my For You page, I often see many of the same video ideas being replicated by different users. 

Whether it’s a dance, an audio clip or a comedy sketch, users will often recreate different parts of videos that they’ve seen elsewhere. 

Perhaps this seems inauthentic or even boring. I mean, you can go viral for doing a dance that millions of other TikTokers have already done. 

But often, those who have choreographed the dances (or created the sounds and comedy sketches) seem to be doing so with the intent of having others copy their idea. 

So when a dance or video idea does go viral, I often see TikTokers giving credit to the original creator in their caption, with a simple tag or “inspired by,” followed by their username. 

This trend of giving credit first seemed to really take off when Jalaiah Harmon’s choreography for the “Renegade” dance went viral this winter. 

Harmon’s choreography can be indirectly linked to D’Amelio and Easterling’s success — the two girls were invited to perform Harmon’s dance at the NBA All-Star Game. 

When D’Amelio and Easterling used her choreo, they made a point of crediting her in their videos after many people rallied on behalf of Harmon getting the credit that she deserved. 

Recently, Fleetwood Mac’s song “Dreams” has seen a spike in sales after TikTok user 420doggface208, also known as Nathan Apodaca, posted a clip of himself singing along to the song while skateboarding and drinking Ocean Spray. 

According to Billboard, the song has seen an 88.7 per cent increase in streams since Apodaca’s video took off.

With this, many people have said that Fleetwood Mac should “cut him a cheque” for introducing the song to TikTok’s young audience and subsequently causing a huge jump in sales from downloads of the song.

Whether those people are serious or not, it’s sparked even further conversations about the way TikTokers do (and sometimes don’t) get the credit that they’re due.

In fact, Apodaca has received over $10,000 in donations to fix the RV that he lives in, $5,000 of which he plans on giving to his mother, all because people enjoyed his TikToks. It also appears as though he is now being sponsored by Ocean Spray, after posting a TikTok in a new car, captioned, “Thanks for the new wheels Ocean Spray!”

I think it’s impressive how so many young creators have essentially created a system where they make sure that no one’s ideas go uncredited. 

Perhaps it’s a reflection of all the times students have been warned that a failure to cite their sources will result in consequences. 

But there’s still a long way to go with it, especially when it comes to the idea of whether TikTokers should be credited for helping songs go viral or not, like with Apodaca’s case — he could’ve used those stream sales to fix his home, rather than relying on outside donations. 

Perhaps it’s a tall order to expect a famous rock band to offer their stream sales to a random TikToker, but regardless, seeing these creators get and give credit where it’s due is a little thing that makes me proud of my fellow Gen-Zs.

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