Auschwitz museum points out ‘hurtful and offensive’ Holocaust trend on TikTok

August 28, 2020 by Jackson Richman - JNS
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The museum at the former Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz called a trend on the video-sharing social-networking service TikTok in which young people portray themselves as victims of the Holocaust as “hurtful and offensive.”

The “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate at Auschwitz with the bitter irony of the German words: “Work Will Set You Free.” Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

“The ‘victims’ trend on TikTok can be hurtful & offensive. Some videos are dangerously close or already beyond the border of trivialization of history,” tweeted the Auschwitz Memorial. “But we should discuss this not to shame & attack young people whose motivation seem very diverse. It’s an educational challenge.”

The tweet included an attached longer statement.

“We have to be very careful in this discussion because the language used—also very often in social media—seems to carry lots of emotions, sometimes very strong,” reads the statement, warning against “vilifying” those who are part of the trend.

“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,” said the museum.


In a statement to JNS, a TikTok spokesperson said that the platform “blocked the #holocaustchallenge earlier this week to discourage people from participating. We do not condone content like this and are redirecting searches for it to our Community Guidelines to further educate users about our policies and the supportive, inclusive community we are working to foster on TikTok.”

In a blog post on its website on Aug. 2020, TikTok said it has a “zero-tolerance stance” on accounts linked to antisemitism, and that it removes “race-based harassment and the denial of violent tragedies, such as the Holocaust.”

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