TikTok suspends teen’s account for criticizing China

A teenager went viral for posting a series of videos on TikTok talking about the mass oppression of Uighurs.

TikTok has suspended an account of a teenager Feroza (username: getmefamouspartthree), who posted a series of viral videos attacking China on Uighur Muslims. The videos start as eye-makeup tutorials, to avoid being moderated, but later persuade people and countries to raise voice against the Chinese government for their concentration and detention camps in Xinjiang.

The activist has tweeted about the notification of account suspension shortly after she posted the videos, which was due to the violation of Community Guidelines.

In the three videos posted on TikTok, the teenager is seen as an activist who is asking people to use their smartphones to search about the reality of mass oppression in China. She further urges users to strongly condemned the Chinese government for its actions in Xinjiang based Uighurs.

Her first video has been watched more than 1.4 million times and “liked” nearly 500,000 times on the app. The video was uploaded to Twitter by other users and has received additional five million views. She ended her first video with a message for people to “Please be aware.” 

Her first video contains the following text: “Hey guys, I wanna teach you guys how to get long lashes so the first thing you need to do is collect your lash curler. Curl your lashes obviously… [after few seconds] and use your phone that you are using right to search about whats happening in china. They are running concentration camps and throwing Muslims in their. Separating their families from each other, kidnapping them, murdering them, forcing them to eat pork, to drink, convert from their religion [after few seconds] this is another holocaust yet no one is talking about it. [some more words] Please be aware. Please spread awareness. [some more words] “

Her other part of videos start like: “Hey guys, you wanted a second part of the video on how to get longer lashes. So here it is and by the way I say that so TikTok doesn’t take down my videos.” She further said that “We can reach millions across the world [so] reach those with the power to do something about it.”

Her videos are still accessible on her TikTok profile: https://www.tiktok.com/@getmefamouspartthree

TikTok is based in China

TikTok is often dubbed as Vine, a similar popular platform by Twitter, for millennials. It is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese tech company. However, like other Chinese tech companies, TikTok is also under criticism recently due to scrubbing user’s content, which contains anti-Chinese government material.

According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, TikTok in future wants to remove the Chinese tag from them. They may be moving or rebranding themselves as a US brand under the light of the ban on Huawei and Chinese tech companies.

TikTok response

A spokesperson of TikTok has informed that “TikTok does not moderate content due to political sensitivities.”

Moreover, TikTok has clarified that the account is not suspended because of her criticism of the Chinese government, Communist party, or China. Instead, she previously posted a video about the terrorist Osama bin Laden, using her previous account (@getmefamousplzsir) which was suspended by TikTok.

TikTok Privacy & Safety policy does not allow users to spread such material due to the safety of the community. 

  • Terrorist organizations and any other criminal organizations are strictly prohibited from using TikTok. DO NOT use TikTok to promote and support these organizations or individuals.

As an additional measure against the violation, TikTok has blacklisted the phone as well, so the user cannot use again to create more TikTok accounts. It is unclear what was portrayed in the video.

The Camps here we talking about

Feroza, in her videos, is talking about mass surveillance and the detention of the Uighurs community. There are several independence movements in Xinjiang by Muslims who want to become a separate state of East Turkestan. Some parts of this province were briefly an independent country in the 20th century. 

China states the camps as “The Xinjiang re-education camps,” or by the official name of “Vocational Education and Training Center.” Started in 2014, they now contain thousands of different minority races and religions, mainly Uighurs, Kazakhs, Muslims, Christians, and other Turkic people of the Central Asian race.

READ: Is Apple siding with China over Hong Kong? Tim Cook writes memo as HKmap is down

Many western countries have started to raise voices against human rights violations. After The China Cables, the government of the UK and Germany have called for UN access to Chinese detention camps in Xinjiang.

A few months back, many people from the Uighur community posted videos on the Douyin app, a TikTok like platform also owned by ByteDance.

In the uploaded videos, people are seen in front of old photos of their family members with footage edited to show themselves crying or gesturing.

The teenager activist Feroza, who considers herself Afghani-American, has also posted these videos on her Instagram account. Her Twitter account is active until now as well.

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Featured image: Getty

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