October 14, 2022
– Oct. 14th 2022 7:10 am PT
Update: Boone has stated that there was no connection between the video and her contract not being renewed. She said that she worked the entirety of her contract period, and “remain[s] thankful for my career opportunities and growth from working at Apple, and how that helped pave the way for the wonderful job I have today.“
An Apple contractor reportedly found her contract “unexpectedly” not renewed after a day-in-the-life TikTok video went viral.
Nylah Boone’s “Day in the life of a Black girl working in tech” video didn’t reveal any secret goings-on within the company but did feature footage inside her office at Apple – as you can see below …
Boone told The Verge that she was only trying to show other women of color that this kind of career could be an option for them, and thus helping Apple achieve a more representative workforce.
The “tech girlie” genre of content can serve a purpose, especially for women, people of color, and other traditionally underrepresented groups in the industry who hope to land a job.
Nylah Boone, a TikTok creator who considers herself a micro-influencer, sprinkles in workday content with other unrelated vlogs, like travel videos, Trader Joe’s hauls, and follower Q&As. In April, while working as a contractor at Apple, Boone posted a video of her first day working from the Apple office, showing her morning routine and commute along with snippets of the building, an in-office pastry bar, and lunch with co-workers. The video, titled “Day in the life of a Black girl working in tech,” has amassed nearly 400,000 views, with hundreds of comments asking Boone for career advice and questions about her job and daily routine.
“My followers or people that would reach out to me or comment were like 80 percent Black women,” Boone says. “That was important to me to be able to connect with other Black women as well to encourage them, ‘You can work in this industry or work in this role” […]
In May, Boone unexpectedly lost her job at Apple when her contract wasn’t renewed. She made videos about that, too — a trio of clips documenting her job loss has so far gotten around 150,000 views.
Black girl working in tech – we are back in office y’all!! 💅🏾 #blackwomenintech #blackgirltiktok #dayinthelife #workingintech #backtooffice
♬ As It Was – Harry Styles
Apple typically prohibits workers from sharing footage from within the company’s offices, either through employment contracts or separate NDAs.
It’s just one example of what is turning into an increasing issue as more of the TikTok generation have jobs at tech giants.
Tech employees have racked up millions of views on these glossy aspirational videos. But messy boundaries around filming at work have led to HR warnings and even firings from tech firms that creators say are ill-prepared to navigate the influencer-slash-corporate employee. Corporations, meanwhile, essentially get free promotion — they just have to risk their influencers showing too much or revealing things they may not want the whole world to see.
“Me and my tech creators friends, we all have been flagged before at [our] company to be like, ‘Hey, don’t do that,’” says Chloe Shih. Shih, a YouTuber with over 51,000 followers, says creators must balance crafting their own brand and free expression with demands from their employers that limit what can be shared, either through explicit policies or implicit fears.
In addition to concerns about the risk of either deliberately or inadvertently revealing pre-launch work on unannounced products, companies are also concerned about the potential safety implications of revealing security checkpoints, badge formats, and the like.
Some creators are very careful in what they do and don’t show, but that can also mean that it is no longer a real day-in-the-life video – as The Verge‘s Mia Sato parodies.
A day in the life of a 20-something on TikTok who works in tech might look something like this: start the day with free breakfast and a latte. Immediately go out for a multi-hour lunch break. Return to the office and wander around the spacious, light-filled space, visiting the nap room or the Harry Potter-themed meeting space. “Finish up work.” Then head out at 5PM.
It’s not the first time that shooting work-related TikTok videos has gotten an Apple employee into trouble. A couple of months ago, Apple engineer Paris Campbell was threatened with the loss of her job after she posted helpful content for someone being blackmailed over the loss of her iPhone. The video was shot at home, but she was told that merely identifying herself as an Apple employee – which she did indirectly – was a breach of policy.
TikTok also proved the downfall of Apple’s VP of procurement when he jokingly responded to a creator’s on-camera question with a quote from a movie. The quote contained colorful remarks, and Apple didn’t see the joke: It fired him.
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Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!
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