TikTok apologizes after blocking video showing China's treatment of MuslimsLast updated on Nov 28, 2019, 07:35 pm
Just a day after blocking a teen who highlighted the mistreatment of Muslims in China, TikTok has apologized for the 'mistake' and restored her account.
The company issued a statement saying her account was suspended due to a mix-up between 17-year old Feroza Aziz's new and old TikTok account while the video was removed due to a 'human moderation error'.
Here's all about it.
First, here's what Aziz said in the video
On November 23, US-based Aziz shared a TikTok video - 'How to get long lashes'.
Initially, the video looked normal and showed Aziz holding an eyelash curler. But soon, it took a serious note when she started talking about China's mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.
She spoke about alleged concentration camps, religion conversion to being forced to eat pork.
Then, her account got suspended, video got removed
Aziz's three-part video slamming the Chinese government for ethnic genocide immediately went viral on TikTok.
However, in a matter of hours, TikTok, the Chinese platform on which the video was shared, suspended her account.
She reached out to the company to address the issue but they didn't respond and took down the video as well.
It had received some 1.7 million views by then.
After Aziz's tweets, the account and video were back
In response to TikTok's action, Aziz reported the suspension of her account and the removal of the video on Twitter, saying that China is using TikTok to prevent the truth from coming out.
However, within a few hours of tweeting, her account was back online and the video was restored.
Later, Eric Han, head of Safety, TikTok US, issued an apology for the 'mistake'.
Why TikTok suspended the account?
In his explanation, Han claimed Aziz had posted a satirical video involving a picture of Osama bin Laden from her old account.
The company suspended that account and then went on to ban devices associated with the banned account.
Owing to this, Aziz's phone, which was still associated with the old account, was targeted and her new account was also affected in the process.
Moderation error led to video's removal
As for video removal, Han said, "human moderation error" led to the removal of Aziz's video for 51 minutes.
However, he added, the company is "conducting a review into its moderation policies" and will soon publish a transparency report.
"It's important to clarify that nothing in our community guidelines precludes content such as this video, and it should not have been removed," he emphasized.
Evidently, Aziz is not satisfied with TikTok's explanation
After TikTok's explanation, Aziz tweeted out that her account is back, but she also doubted the explanation given by the video-sharing giant.
She recently shared a tweet saying: "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 Uighurs? No."
China continues to face condemnation for policies in Xinjiang
The whole TikTok debacle comes as China continues to face flak for its policies in Xinjiang, which the Chinese government has defined as a part of counter-terrorism measures. It also says that people willingly attend its vocational training centers for "ideological education".