A TikTok song has been removed from the platform for its offensive Nazi theme, but not before clips using the song reached over 6.5 million views. The BBC first reported on the song and it found multiple videos using the tune before they were removed. The outlet wrote that the first video to use it was on Sunday, July 5.
The original video using the song was uploaded to the TikTok profile of a UK teenager and featured a giant scorpion with a swastika attacking people alongside lyrics like: “We’re going on a trip to a place called Auschwitz, it’s shower time,” the BBC reported. That video received over 6 million views in the few hours it was up, and other videos subsequently using the song received about a half-million views altogether, the outlet added.
About a Hundred Users Chose the Nazi-themed Song for Their Videos Before It Was Removed
Before the song was removed from the platform, almost 100 users chose it for their videos. According to the BBC, these included a video showing a character who looked like Hitler from the Roblox video game, a shooter video game, or clips showing films or documentaries about the Holocaust.
It took TikTok several hours to get every video using the song off the platform, and the videos were viewed by hundreds of thousands of people before their removal. Stephen Silverman, the director of investigations and enforcement for the Campaign Against Antisemitism, told the BBC:
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.
Many Are Blaming the TikTok Algorithm for Allowing the Video to Spread So Quickly
Many believe that songs such as this one are successful on the social media platform because of the algorithm that promotes the spread of offensive memes. Silverman said, “our research has shown that TikTok has become one of the fastest vectors for transmission of memes mocking the Holocaust.”
The chief executive of Modern Impact, Michael Priem, said that while the platform hasn’t publicly revealed its algorithm, TikTok is believed to use something similar to other “commonly used models that collect data on our content consumption and peers influenced network.” He added, “As specific videos gain momentum the algorithm then promotes them more widely across the platform. Hence the users intuitively asking each other to ‘help this go viral.'”
However, a TikTok representative issued a statement to the BBC regarding the Nazi-themed song in question: “Keeping our users safe is a top priority for TikTok, and our community guidelines make clear what is not acceptable on our platform. We do not tolerate any content that includes hate speech, and the sound in question, along with all associated videos, have now been removed.”
They also said, “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.'”