China’s social network has admitted to having “mistakenly” taken down a viral video on the TikTok platform condemning Beijing’s crackdown on Muslims in Xinjiang and apologized to the teenager who posted it on social networks.
Feroza Aziz, who describes herself as a 17-year-old Muslim American girl, had posted a video, seen 1.6 million times to date, in which she denounced the treatment of Muslims of the Uyghur ethnic group in Xinjiang while pretending to give makeup tips.
TikTok had then, according to her, prevented her to post other messages on her account and finally removed the video, causing controversy among Internet users. Already highly criticized for having censored Hong Kong pro-democracy protests, the Chinese platform initially denied having blocked the video, ensuring that it did not intervene on the contents “for political reasons “.
However, the platform finally admitted on Wednesday that they suspended the video “by mistake” for 50 minutes: “Nothing in the guidelines of our platform is intended to exclude content such as this video. It should not have been deleted, “says TikTok in a statement. “We would like to apologize to the user for this mistake on our part,” they added.
According to human rights organizations, more than one million Muslims, the vast majority of whom are Uyghur, are held in Xinjiang political re-education camps.
Beijing rejects this figure and refers to “vocational training centers” to fight against Islamist radicalization, in response to a series of gory attacks attributed in recent years to Uyghur militants.