TikTok lifts ban on US teen who criticized China treatment of Muslims


TikTok’s brand is displayed on a pill display.

LIONEL BONAVENTURE | AFP | Getty Images

TikTok has lifted its ban on an American teen who says she was blocked from the platform after sharing a viral video criticizing China’s remedy of minority Uighur Muslims.

The app claimed that 17-year-old Feroz Aziz was prevented from accessing her account as a consequence of affiliation with a separate profile which posted a video together with a picture of Osama bin Laden. It cited insurance policies on terrorist-related content material and mentioned “no China-related content was moderated on this account.”

Owned by China’s ByteDance, TikTok has drawn the eye of U.S. lawmakers who’re concerned the corporate could also be censoring politically delicate content material deemed offensive to Beijing. The U.S. authorities is now looking into ByteDance over issues that its 2017 acquisition of Musical.ly poses a nationwide safety threat.

TikTok has additionally been blasted by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who claimed the app censored customers posting about pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. However, TikTok has denied it removes content material from the app over “sensitivities around China.”

China has compelled as many as 1 million Muslims into internment camps within the western a part of the nation, the place they bear indoctrination and interrogation designed to show them into supporters of the Chinese Communist Party, based on a trove of documents revealed by the New York Times this month.

In a report last year, the United Nations referred to the western Xinjiang area of China as a “no rights zone” the place Muslims are handled as “enemies of the state.” Beijing says it’s preventing spiritual “extremism.”

TikTok’s rationalization

In a blog post late Wednesday, TikTok detailed a timeline of occasions which led as much as Aziz’s ban and the short-term elimination of her clip. The agency mentioned she uploaded footage of herself speaking in regards to the remedy of Uighurs in China on Nov. 23 utilizing a distinct TikTok deal with.

The agency additional defined that it locked her out of that new account as a consequence of a “scheduled platform-wide enforcement” motion. It mentioned moderators banned 2,406 telephones related to accounts that had been blocked as a consequence of breaching content material pointers.

“Because the user’s banned account (@getmefamousplzsir) was associated with the same device as her second account (@getmefamouspartthree), this had the effect of locking her out of being able to access her second, active account from that device,” TikTok claimed. “However, the account itself remained active and accessible, with its videos continuing to receive views.”

The clip in query, which has over 1.5 million views, reveals the U.S. teen pretending to do an eyelash curling tutorial, solely to then urge different TikTok customers to “search up what’s happening in China.” In the video, Aziz refers back to the nation’s remedy of the Uighur neighborhood as “another holocaust.”

On Wednesday, TikTok says, Aziz’s video was eliminated briefly “due to a human moderation error.” The firm apologized to Aziz for the incident and mentioned it had determined to “override” the ban on her account.

“Our moderation approach of banning devices associated with a banned account is designed to protect against the spread of coordinated malicious behavior – and it’s clear that this was not the intent here,” the agency mentioned.

“This user can again access her active account (@getmefamouspartthree) from the device she was using previously.”

But Aziz was unconvinced by the platform’s rationalization for blocking her from accessing her account: “Do I believe they took it away because of a unrelated satirical video that was deleted on a previous deleted account of mine? Right after I finished posting a 3 part video about the Uyghurs? No.”

Since its launch in 2017, TikTok has racked up over 1 billion customers worldwide. ByteDance runs the app in China below a distinct title — Douyin.



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Tarun Banerjee

Professional Web Designer & Developer,Expert in SEO & Digital Market, Founder of Tech Hunt.

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