TikTok bans teen for protesting China’s treatment of Uighurs

Feroza Aziz, a 17-year-old Muslim high school student from New Jersey, used Tik Tok to appealed to her followers to read up and make themselves aware of the inhumane treatment of Uighur Muslims in China in a short video disguised as a makeup tutorial.

Feroza Aziz, a 17-year-old Muslim high

The video

TikTok is a video app that allows users to garner an audience by posting attention-grabbing short-form videos. A concept progeniture of Vine, it has about 500 million users and is widely popular among teenagers.

In her TikTok video, eyelash curler in hand, Feroza says, “Hi guys, I’m going to teach you guys how to get long lashes.” She uses the curler for a few seconds as part of the farce, then while still using the tone of a makeup artist/influencer, she begins to urge people to google China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims in concentration camps set up in North West China.

She states in the video that the people imprisoned in these camps have been kidnapped, raped and beaten, as well as forced to eat pork and drink alcohol in violation of their faith. While ending the video, Feroza says “People who go into these concentration camps don’t come out alive. This is another Holocaust, and yet, nobody is talking about it. Please be aware, and please spread awareness,” and makes one last reference to eyelash curling.

In an email to Indian Express, Aziz said that her TikTok videos tried to make light of the racism and discrimination she experienced growing up in the United States, such as being told that they would marry bin Laden.

China and Uighur Muslims

In a leak of official documents made to International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) – an international body with 17 media partners – it has come to light that about a million people of mostly Muslim Uighur descent have been detained without trial in detention camps constructed in China’s north-west region of Xinjiang. 

This directly goes against China’s claim of the camps being made for voluntary re-education as a mild and benevolent campaign to fight Islamic extremism.

The New York Times published 403 pages of internal documents in relation to this issue, in what it called “one of the most significant leaks of government papers from inside China’s ruling Communist Party in decades.”

No faith in the red flag

A spokesman for TikTok’s parent company Byte Dance claimed Aziz had been blocked from her TikTok account for posting a video containing an image of Osama bin Laden from a previous account, thereby violating TikTok’s policies against terrorist content.

However, the direct, unyielding power that the Chinese government seems to have over Chinese companies has been a cause of concern for a while. China’s government rigidly controls its own internet while it exerts influence, sometimes subtly, over the activities of private businesses.

A leaked report noted that the country can easily shut off Philippines’ power grid at any time, owing to the 40% stake in the Chinese Power Grid Corporation has in Philippines grid system.

TikTok, in particular, has recently come under fire from the American government and is currently under review of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) for being a potential security risk.

Alex Zhu, head of TikTok, denied accusations of Chinese surveillance and control, stating that even ByteDance could not control TikTok’s policies for managing video content in the United States


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