More than 6 million view Nazi death camp song on TikTok
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More than 6 million view Nazi death camp song on TikTok

Popular social media site deletes videos after report from BBC; activists say it is not doing enough to stop hate speech reaching young users

The icon for TikTok phone app, taken in New York, February 25, 2020. (AP Photo)
The icon for TikTok phone app, taken in New York, February 25, 2020. (AP Photo)

A song glorifying the Nazi death camp Auschwitz became a meme on the popular social networking site TikTok, garnering more than 6.5 million views before it was removed, the BBC reported.

The song, which features lyrics like “We’re going on a trip to a place called Auschwitz, it’s shower time,” first surfaced last week in a video that showed a giant robot scorpion with a swastika attacking and killing people.

The video was boosted by TikTok’s algorithm, garnering six million views in several days. Several other videos, that also used Holocaust imagery, also used the song, getting another 500,000 views.

After being contacted by the BBC, the site took down all the videos, saying that they “don’t tolerate hate speech.”

“While we will not catch every instance of inappropriate content, we are continuously improving our technologies and policies to ensure TikTok remains a safe place for positive creative expression,” a spokesperson told the BBC.

Activists said TikTok, which is very popular with teens, needs to do more.

“It was incredibly distressing to watch this sickening TikTok video aimed at children, showing a swastika-bearing robot grabbing and incinerating Jews, as the music poked fun at Jewish men, women and children being killed with poison gas at Auschwitz,”  Stephen Silverman, director of investigations and enforcement for the Campaign Against Antisemitism, told the BBC.

“TikTok has a particular obligation to tackle this content fast because it specializes in delivering viral videos to children and young adults when they are most impressionable, and yet our research has shown that TikTok has become one of the fastest vectors for transmission of memes mocking the Holocaust,” he said.

The BBC said that the user who posted the original video appeared to be a young teenager from the UK, whose account was still live. He claimed to have gained  12,000 new followers after posting the video.

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