TikTok censoring LGBTQ, Nazi terms in Germany: report

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03/23/2022

TikTok has been running a questionable word-filtering system in Germany, according to a report by German public broadcasters. The popular Chinese-owned social network has been blocking posts that contain German-language words relating to Nazis, LGBTQ culture and the tennis player Peng Shuai, according to research by NDR, WDR and ARD’s Tagesschau. Users were able to post the offending keywords, but — in a practice known as shadowbanning — the posts were not visible to others. Words such as “porn” and “sex” were blocked, presumably to protect minors. However, words such as  “gay,” “queer,” “LGBTQ” and  “homosexual” were also blocked. Other words that were partially blocked include “transsexual” and “government in exile.” Words such as “Auschwitz” and “National Socialism” (Nazism) were also blocked. Memorializing the horrors of the Holocaust is deeply embedded in German culture and law.

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