TikTok apologizes for taking down a video about abuses against Uighurs

TikTok
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TikTok was recently in the news when they took down the ISIS TikTok videos. Now, Tiktok is again in the news. The company has apologized to a teenager, Feroza Aziz because they suspended her account. She posted a video in which she told people about the persecution of Muslims in Xinjiang. TikTok said that the video was deleted due to a human error. The company also said that the user hadn’t violated the platform community guidelines.   

However, Feroza Aziz, who says that she is just a Muslim girl trying to spread awareness among people, rejected TikTok claims. She tweeted, “Do I think that they took it down because of an unrelated satirical video? Right after I posted a 3 part video about Uyghurs? No.”  

In the video that TikTok removed, Aziz starts by telling the users to wear an eye curler. After that, she tells them to use their phones that they are using and see what’s happening in China. She told the people to see the massacre happening in Xinjiang, where innocent Muslims are thrown into concentration camps, separated from families, murdered and raped. They also forced Muslims to drink, eat pork, and forced them to convert. She said that another Holocaust was going on, and people should talk and raise awareness about it.” 

The government-directed persecution of Muslim groups in China started many years ago. Moreover, the government held millions of Muslims in the internment camps. However, awareness of this issue increased this month. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the New York Times also leaked classified Chinese government documents. They confirmed that the government was holding the Muslims and persecuting them.  

Muslims oppression
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Aziz told BuzzFeed News that she has been quite vocal about the atrocities against the minority groups in China, since 2018. She said that “as a Muslim girl, I have been maltreated, and I have seen my people maltreated the same way. I have always been into human rights, so I talked about this issue.” 

BuzzFeed published this article before TikTok’s apology post. The company claimed at that time that Aziz’s account suspension was actually due to another video that she made, which contained a picture of Osama Bin Laden. The video was a satirical response to a meme about crushes of celebrities. Aziz told BuzzFeed News that it was nothing but a dark humor joke because she wouldn’t have done this if it was a serious video. However, the spokesperson of TikTok said that she violated the platform’s policy related to terrorism-related content.  

“Although we know that the Aziz posted that particular video as a satire, we have strict policies regarding terrorism-related content. When we identify any such content that violates our Community Guidelines, we ban the account and other associated devices.” The TikTok spokesperson also clarified that TikTok suspended Aziz’s second account. She had posted the makeup tutorial video on it, as a policy of blocking 2,406 devices linked to the previously suspended accounts.  

TikTok’s U.S. head of safety, Eric Tan, mentioned that the company uses technology to uphold the community guidelines. They also have moderators as a “second line of defense.” 

“We know that, at certain times, this process isn’t foolproof. Humans make mistakes, like the one we made regarding @getmefamouspartthree’s video,” he said, “However, when we make such mistakes, we fully acknowledge them and address them head-on. We try our best to reduce the risk of the mistake and take full responsibility for the mistake.” 

However, Aziz didn’t accept this apology. She said in the Washington Post that “this apology is just an effort to cover up their mess. I won’t accept it, and I will expose TikTok.” 

 

 

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