TikTok, the Chinese app, was forced to apologize after it blocked the account of a 17-year-old Feroza Aziz because of her video where she criticized the Chinese attitude towards Uyghur Muslims.
Aziz recorded a make-up video tutorial to attract users and not to get blocked. However, the make-up was not the central theme of the video. In that tutorial, she says:
"I'm going to teach you guys how to get long lashes. The first thing you need to do is get your lash curler, curl your lashes – obviously – then you're going to put them down and use your phone that you're using right now to search what's happening in China."
The teenager continued to discuss how the Chinese government is "throwing innocent Muslims" into "concentration camps", "separating 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."
She also said,
"People that go into these concentration camps don't come back alive. This is another Holocaust, yet no one is talking about it."
Later, Aziz recorded two more videos. In the last one, the blogger talked about other global issues including protests in Colombia, bombings in Afghanistan, and detention camps in the USA.
On November 25, Aziz tweeted:
Soon after Aziz shared this tweet in which she tagged Donald Trump, her account was restored.
The teenager claims that TikTok deleted her video and account so that this information would not be distributed. Still, Eric Khan, the app's head of safety for the US, said in a statement that Aziz was blocked earlier this month after posting a video that contained an image of Osama Bin Laden and also because she created three accounts from one device, which is prohibited by TikTok policy. TikTok also reiterated that the ban was not related to the politics of China.
Aziz did not accept TikTok's explanation and wrote on Twitter, "This isn't the first time TikTok has tried to silence me about the Uyghur genocide."
And it's also not the first time that teens use TikTok to convey some social problems in the guise of make-up tutorials or dance lessons.