It began with Einsatzgruppen death squads, which killed roughly a million people in a number of massacres, and continued in concentration camps where prisoners were actively denied proper food and healthcare.
It culminated in the construction of extermination camps – government facilities, the entire purpose of which was the systematic murder and disposal of massive numbers of people, most of them, Jewish.
In short, the Holocaust is not funny, or fodder for social media influencers, and/or TikTok users to ramp up their followers.
And yet, here we are.
A new TikTok trend is doing the rounds where some are using the platform to role-play as victims of the Holocaust.
A taste of what that looks like to really get the blood boiling:
— Patricia🏳️🌈✡️ (@Mowgli_Lincoln) August 18, 2020
The Auschwitz museum is outraged, rightly, by what is being referred to as the “victims” trend or “point-of-view” videos, where some users, like the ones above, cosplay Holocaust victims, says The New York Post.
Others have been seen sporting fake bruises or Star of David armbands, and talking in the first person about dying in the mass genocide:
“Some videos are dangerously close or already beyond the border of trivialisation of history”, the Auschwitz Memorial Museum said in a tweet.
“Some were not created to commemorate anyone, but to become part of an online trend. This is very painful.”
In a statement, the Museum said that its intention is not to shame the teens posting the videos.
“But we should discuss this, not to shame & attack young people whose motivation seem very diverse. It’s an educational challenge,” the statement added.
“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.”
You can read that statement in full, here:
— Michal Lev-Ram (@mlevram) August 27, 2020
TikTok says that it is handling the situation by redirecting searches for the videos, bearing the hashtag #HolocaustChallenge.
“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,” a spokesman for the company said.
It should go without saying, but when the urge to use devastating historical events in your videos is visited upon you, stop and think.
Maybe read a history book, and if that’s too much for you, Google ‘Holocaust’.
A little respect goes a long way.
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