TikTok’s Harmful Holocaust Trend (Sensitive Content)
The trend on the popular social media app, Tiktok, is being criticized by the Auschwitz Memorial for being “dangerously close or already beyond the border of trivialization of history”.
In this trend, some TikTokers were wearing striped uniforms like camp prisoners in the concentration camps. They went even further when they wore Star of David armbands that Jews were forced to wear by the Nazis. (Source: CNN).
However, this should not make the young creators of TikTok, the villains. The Auschwitz Memorial statement suggests that instead, "Educators should work with young people to present the facts and stories but also teach and discuss how to commemorate in a meaningful and respectful way.”
The Holocaust was the horrible persecution and murder of 6 million Jews. The Nazi’s came to a “Final Solution” to achieve the perfect Aryan race (the Germanic people), this was the idea to use the extermination to be rid of the Jews, and this horrific idea became government policy.
To execute the plan, the Nazis created six death camps: Auschwitz, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor, and Treblinka, and they were all occupied in Poland.
The Auschwitz Memorial explains how this trend almost trivializes this nightmarish time in history that Jewish people were forced to go through. The intent of the TikTok video may not be harmful, but the videos tend to minimize the suffering of Jews in the name of entertainment.
Regarding the social media platform, TikTok mentioned in its blog post that it takes a "proactive approach to stopping the spread of hate and known hate and violent extremist groups."
According to CNN, in 2020 so far, TikTok has removed at least 380,000 videos in the United States that violate its hate speech policy, and it has also banned more than 1,300 accounts.
The company has a "zero-tolerance stance" on accounts that are linked to anti-Semitism and it removes "race-based harassment and the denial of violent tragedies, such as the Holocaust,” (Source: CNN).
A TikTok spokesperson told BBC’s Newsbeat, "We preemptively blocked users' ability to search for #holocaustchallenge earlier this week and we are also redirecting any searches for this hashtag to our Community Guidelines to further educate users.”
This isn’t the first time Tiktok has been under fire. Owned by ByteDance, which is based in China, the app moderates content and collects data. Censorship doesn’t sound bad at first when it comes to social media except TikTok has been criticized for censoring pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. The United States government has claimed that Tiktok could be a national security threat. (Source: www.verge.com)
Again, we shouldn’t villainize those who did the trend because some had the intention of raising awareness. How about instead of portraying we inform the general public with some informative TikToks.