TikTok users slammed for pretending to be Holocaust victims
A new trend has emerged on TikTok which is seeing content creators accused of anti-semitism.
In the clips, young people can be seen pretending to be Holocaust victims in heaven, talking about how they died in death camps.
Some of them have dressed up in striped outfits meant to resemble the clothing that Jewish people were forced to wear in concentration camps, while others have sewn the Star of David onto their clothes and covered their faces in ‘dirt’.
Other props include images from Auschwitz, the camp where more than one million people were murdered, used in the background.
Understandably, the clips have angered many people – including Jewish communities – with one woman saying the content is used as ‘trauma porn’ for likes.
‘Our obsession with trauma porn has only motivated a desire to dramatise these narratives,’ Brianna, an Ashkenazi Jewish teenager from Los Angeles, told Wired.
She added: ‘Most creators are doing [these videos] to hop onto a trend so they can get likes and exposure [but they are] ill-informed and woefully ignorant.
‘These kinds of trends are so normalised these days, there’s also a level of shock value content which I think is outdated and in bad taste.
‘This shock value further desensitises viewers to this type of behaviour and normalises this type of harmful content.’
Others have taken to social media to share their anger.
‘Right. Now can we please STOP making Holocaust trends on TikTok?It’s straight up antisemitism and you all let it slide,’ tweeted one person.
Someone else wrote: ‘I’m sad this has become something people think is okay to practice their makeup and acting abilities with.’
However, some of the content creators are defending their videos by saying that they are meant to be educational.
‘I’ve always been interested in the history of the Holocaust and just wanted to make a creative video informing people about it on TikTok,’ said one anonymous influencer, who has since removed her video, according to Daily Mail.
‘It was never intended to be offensive.’
Another content creator, whose family members spent time in concentration camps, added that they wanted to ‘spread awareness’ through the platform.
‘I’m very motivated and captivated by the Holocaust and the history of World War II,’ they wrote.
‘I have ancestors who were in concentration camps, and have actually met a few survivors from Auschwitz camp.
‘I wanted to spread awareness and share out to everyone the reality behind the camps by sharing my Jewish grandmother’s story.’
The attempt to raise awareness backfired – and has also been criticised by professionals including Diane Saltzman, director of survivor affairs at the Holocaust Museum in the US.
‘Imitating Holocaust experiences dishonors the memory of the victims, is offensive to survivors and trivialises the history,’ she told Insider.
We contacted TikTok to get more information on the trend, but the video-sharing site did not wish to comment – however, it provided information on its community guidelines.
According to the review of the Holocaust clips by its Trust and Safety team, these videos not ‘constitute a violation’ of the guidelines due to their educational nature and ‘aim to raise awareness’.
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