Teen Posts About 'Another Holocaust,' Gets Banned

Feroza Aziz talked about more than beauty in TikTok video
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2019 3:00 PM CST

TikTok's decision to ban a US teenager and suddenly reverse course didn't pass unnoticed on Thanksgiving Day. "TikTok is trying to cover up this whole mess," Feroza Aziz, 17, tells the Washington Post. "I won't let them get away with this." It all began when Aziz posted a beauty-tutorial video on the social-media app and turned the topic to Muslims imprisoned in China, saying "this is another Holocaust, yet no one is talking about it." TikTok, which is owned by a Chinese tech company, soon banned her from accessing the app from her personal device—but reversed course Wednesday and let her back on. Which only sparked more conflict:

  • All Osama: TikTok says it banned her because an Aziz post earlier this month included an image of Osama bin Laden, which goes against company policy of "imagery related to terrorist figures." TikTok also took down her video on China camps for nearly an hour Wednesday but called that an error, per the New York Times.

  • Aziz's eye roll: "Do I believe they took it away because of a unrelated satirical video that was deleted on a previous deleted account of mine?" the Afghan American writes on Twitter. "Right after I finished posting a 3 part video about the Uyghurs? No."
  • 'Marry a terrorist': Aziz says she used the bin Laden image to mock Islamaphobic remarks she's heard in America. "I'm sure that a lot of Muslims have been told that they should go marry a terrorist. ... This happened to me, and I'm sure it's happened to other people," she tells Business Insider, so "I thought, why don't I just make a lighthearted joke out of this?"
  • Unamused: "While we recognize that this video may have been intended as satire, our policies on this front are currently strict," TikTok said, linking to Community Guidelines that say "it's important that users feel safe and comfortable in this community."
  • Aziz's China video: She began it with beauty tips on eyelashes, then: "Use your phone that you're using right now to search up what's happening in China, how they're getting concentration camps, throwing innocent Muslims in there, separating their families from each other, kidnapping them, murdering them, raping them, forcing them to eat pork, forcing them to drink, forcing them to convert to different religions or of course they're going to get murdered," she said in part. "People that go into these concentration camps don't come back alive."
  • Not backing down: "I will continue to talk about it, and I will talk about it on Twitter, on Instagram, on any platform I have, even TikTok," she told the BBC after her video was viewed over nine million times. "I'm not scared of TikTok, even after the suspension. I won't be scared of TikTok."
  • National security: Washington had already opened a national security review of TikTok's owner, ByteDance Technology, which spent $1 billion on acquiring Muical.ly and rebranded it TikTok, Reuters reported earlier this month. Authorities say ByteDance might be removing politically sensitive content.
(Secret documents blew the lid off China's "hidden policy.")

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