WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A teenager’s TikTok was suspended after she criticized China’s treatment of minority Muslims in one of her videos.
- The teen’s viral video had started as a makeup tutorial but unexpectedly transitioned to anti-China remarks.
- The social media app has since unblocked the video and issued a public apology for suspending the teen’s account.
TikTok unblocks teen who posted about China’s MuslimsTikTok apologized after a teen’s viral video criticizing China was removed from the social media platform. Melissa Duggan on why the teenager isn’t believing the company’s explanation for the move.
Posted by CityNews Toronto on Thursday, November 28, 2019
The social media app TikTok has since issued a public apology for suspending the account of 17-year-old Feroza Aziz, who posted a video criticizing China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims. The teen’s viral video had started as a makeup tutorial but unexpectedly transitioned to anti-China remarks.
In her 40-second video, the Afghan-American young woman started offering eyelash curling advice to her followers. But after a few seconds, she tells her audience to put down the lash curler as she switches to politics.
She says, “Use the phone that you’re using right now to search up what’s happening in China. They’re getting concentration camps, throwing innocent Muslims in there, separating their families from each other, kidnapping them, murdering them, raping them.”
The New Jersey resident criticized and denounced the mass internment of Muslim minority groups believed to be detained in China’s Xinjiang region.
Aziz remarked, “This is another holocaust, yet no one is talking about it.” She then asked her followers to spread awareness on the matter.
Her account was suspended shortly after her videos went viral, which led many to believe that TikTok took action against her anti-China remarks.
TikTok is not authorized in China but it is owned by a Chinese company. It has thus been scrutinized over fears that it censors content considered offensive to the Chinese government.
TikTok explained that she had initially been suspended for a different video that showed a meme including Osama bin Laden — they said this violated TikTok’s policies against images related to terrorist figures. That video featured bin Laden in a satirical way for less than one second.
TikTok then said that a “human moderation error” caused the eyelash curling video to be removed.
They eventually unblocked the video and issued a public apology for suspending the teen’s account on Wednesday.
The United Nations have reported that more than 1 million Chinese Uighur Muslims are being detained in government internment camps. These prison camps in Xinjiang province were referred to by China as “re-education” facilities meant to fight extremism and separatism in the region.
The U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China called it “the largest mass incarceration of a minority population in the world today.” Several Western nations also condemned them as mass detention centers designed to eradicate Islamic practices.
TikTok has become popular with millions of teens and young adults. But as the Associated Press reported, some U.S. senators question the app’s data collection, as well as its censorship of content that doesn’t align with the Chinese government.
AP reported that the U.S. government has launched a national-security review of TikTok.
Source: CBS News