A 17-Year-Old Girl Talked About Chinese Detention Camps On TikTok. TikTok Suspended Her Account
Mary Margaret Olohan on November 27, 2019
A 17-year-old said TikTok temporarily suspended her account after she talked about Chinese detention camps during a makeup tutorial on the video app.
Feroza Aziz began her TikTok video as if she were performing a makeup tutorial, then launched into a discussion of how viewers should look into the harrowing conditions currently in Muslim internment camps in China, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.
Aziz also posted the video, and two subsequent videos on the same topic, on her Instagram account.
The 17-year-old captioned the videos with the comment, “Hi guys, I made a video about the situation in China with how the government is capturing the Uyghur Muslims and placing them into concentration camps. Once you enter these camps, you’re lucky if you get out. Innocent humans are being murdered, tortured, raped, receiving shock therapy, and so much more that I can’t even describe.”
“They are holding a genocide against Muslims and they’re getting away with it,” Aziz added, urging viewers to spread awareness. “We can’t be another failed generation of ‘what could’ve, should’ve, would’ve’. We are strong people. We can do this. Only if we try.”
Aziz’s video went viral on TikTok, an app that is owned by a company based out of Beijing. Within hours, Aziz discovered TikTok had suspended her account, she told the Post.
She could not access her account by Tuesday, and she told the Post she found it “very suspicious” that her account was suspended after she talked about China. She also said that she used her makeup routine as a way to lure in viewers who might not care about politics and make them aware of the situation in China.
Tiktok said in a statement to the Post Tuesday that the 17-year-old’s suspension was not because she criticized China but rather because of a previous video she had posted, on a previous account, which referenced late terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. This video had allegedly violated TikTok’s rules concerning promoting terrorist content.
“TikTok does not moderate content due to political sensitivities and did not do so in this case,” Eric Han, head of TikTok’s U.S. trust and safety team, said in a statement to the Post. TikTok officials also told the Post that her current account was suspended because her phone was tied to the other TikTok account, and Aziz could use her current account on another device.
She tweeted Wednesday that her account had been reinstated.
UPDATE: my tik tok is back up…very suspicious
— feroza.x (@x_feroza) November 27, 2019
Neither Aziz nor TikTok responded to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Aziz told the Post that her previous video, which included bin laden, was intended as a bit of dark satire in which she sang a song in front of images of men who she thinks are attractive.
“As Muslims, we’re ridiculed every day, so that was me making a joke to cope with the racism we face on a daily basis,” she said. “I’ve been told to go marry a terrorist, go marry bin Laden, so I thought: ‘Let me make a joke about this. We shouldn’t let these things get to us.’”
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