TikTok Tries to Explain Why it Took Down Viral Video About Uighurs in China

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There has been international criticism of Beijing following the leaks of the classified government documents, called the China Cables.

There has been international criticism of Beijing following the leaks of the classified government documents, called the China Cables.

There has been international criticism of Beijing following the leaks of the classified government documents, called the China Cables.

Over the past day or so, a TikTok ‘makeup tutorial video’ trying to get the world’s attention to the detention of Uighurs in China had made waves. That was till the social network TikTok decided to take it down. And temporarily banned the user who had posted the video. Now, TikTok, which is owned by Chinese developer ByteDance, has come out with an apology for taking down the video and curbing the user’s ability to post on the platform, as well as clarification for why that happened. The user Feroza (@getfamouspartthree on TikTok) had posted the video on the network with the caption “Why won’t anyone talk about this???”

“We would like to apologize to the user for the error on our part this morning. In addition, we are reaching out to the user directly to inform her that we’ve decided to override the device ban in this case. Our moderation approach of banning devices associated with a banned account is designed to protect against the spread of coordinated malicious behaviour – and it’s clear that this was not the intent here. This user can again access her active account (@getmefamouspartthree) from the device she was using previously,” says TikTok in an official statement.

The American teenager, 17, has already claimed that TikTok has attempted to censor her content in the past as well, according to The Guardian. “We acknowledge that at times, this process will not be perfect. Humans will sometimes make mistakes, such as the one made today in the case of @getmefamouspartthree’s video. When those mistakes happen, however, our commitment is to quickly address and fix them, undertake trainings or make changes to reduce the risk of the same mistakes being repeated, and fully own the responsibility for our errors,” says TikTok.

“This is another Holocaust, yet no one is talking about it. Please be aware, please spread awareness in Xinjiang right now,” she says, in the video.

There has been international criticism of Beijing following the leaks of the classified government documents, called the China Cables, which detail the guidelines for management of what China calls voluntary vocational training centres in the Xinjiang region of the country. The papers, accessed by The Guardian detail the crackdown as well as detail guidelines including how to “prevent escape” of detainees who must stay in the camps for a minimum of a year. The documents also suggest that there is close surveillance of Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang which has restricted their communication with the outside world, including being sent to the camps. CNN calls this the biggest humanitarian story on the planet.


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