• A screenshot of just some of the videos shared on a racist TikTok account. (TikTok)Source: TikTok
A TikTok account has been removed following a media enquiry from NITV News, despite several users saying they had previously reported the account for racism.
By
Madeline Hayman-Reber

Source:
NITV News
30 Apr 2020 - 6:06 PM  UPDATED 30 Apr 2020 - 6:06 PM

WARNING: This article discusses racism towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and may be triggering to some readers.

Social media platform TikTok has removed an account following an email from NITV News, after several users and community members say they reported it for racism. 

At the time of deletion, the account had 29.6 thousand ‘likes’ on it’s racist videos, including one of an Aboriginal child with writing over it saying ‘run a*o’.

Others depict older members of the community, one titled ‘a*o on a tractor’ and ‘da a*os waiting for their turn at the Gulag’. 

The word ‘Gulag’ refers to forced labour camps set up by the Russian Soviet Union in the 1900s during the reign of dictator Joseph Stalin, where prisoners were often starved to death or brutally executed.

TikTok users took to Facebook to vent and ask for more support, with many asking how the post did not violate the community guidelines of the platform. 

“This is an absolute disgrace! I have reported this page countless times as I am sure many others have too. And it’s still an active profile,” Facebook user Sarah Alice wrote.

“...Tik Tok will rightfully remove underage delinquent behaviour within seconds of a user posting but will allow RACISM.”

It remains unclear why the account, or posts made by the account, were not deleted following several reports.

“As we make clear in our Community Guidelines, we do not permit hate speech and we remove any such reported content from the platform," a statement to NITV News read.

"The account in question violates our guidelines and has been banned from the platform.”

The problem seems to run deeper than a one-off incident. 23-year-old proud Lebanese and Aboriginal woman Tallulah Brown, who makes educational videos about Indigenous people and culture said she has copped severe abuse herself.

“It's an educational TikTok where I talk about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives of life and what it's been like since colonisation,” Ms Brown told NITV News.

“The reason I made it is because I didn't get to any of that in school, and I feel like the majority of the general population of Australia doesn't know the extent of the atrocities that happen in this country.”

Through her channel aSmallRash, Ms Brown discusses the Stolen Generation, corrects misconceptions about mob, and explains white privilege and culture among many things.

While the majority of comments that she receives are from supporters of her channel, she says she cops more abuse on TikTok than she ever has on any other social media site. 

One of the most alarming comments she has ever received came from a 12-year-old on the platform.

“People call me a b**ng and a half caste, and a porch monkey, and an a*o. Some of them call me a terrorist,” Ms Brown said.

“I’ve had comments questioning my Aboriginality because I’m white passing, I’ve had comments telling me to kill myself.”

While Ms Brown said it’s upsetting for her, she’s more concerned about the younger generation of Indigenous users who are at risk of being bullied, or reading degrading remarks about themselves.

“I keep my comments off now or just to friends, like people I follow back. I turn my comments on occasionally, but it's only when I'm on my phone so I can watch and control the comments,” she said.

“A lot of my followers are young Indigenous kids and I don't think it would be right for me to have the comments open for them to read all the racist things.”

TikTok points to their community guidelines for clarity surrounding reasons why an account may be suspended, and have a number of safety measures.

“To keep our users safe, we offer a slate of safety tools and features to help users take control of their online experience, including ways to report inappropriate content, limit and filter comments, and block users,” a TikTok spokesperson said.

Ms Brown said that more needs to be done on TikTok’s end to keep users safe.

“I feel like because I have the white passing privilege, I have the ability to speak up and speak out about it. Because I see, even when darker skin mob on TikTok talk about it they get way worse comments than I do,” Ms Brown said.