Social media users point out why TikTok Autism Challenge needs to end right now
Since the past few days, TikTok autism challenge is doing the rounds on social media. This challenge mocks people with autism and their gestures and portrays it in an insensitive manner. Apart from disability rights activists, social media users also wants TikTok to take down videos that shows autism people in a negative light.
Social media is a great medium to stay in touch with your loved ones, share and voice opinions on different matters and even have fun. But what if the barriers are crossed? TikTok, over the last couple of years, have faced criticism for generally discriminating disabled people and even their users with disabilities. In the latest TikTok autism challenge that is doing the rounds on social media, people with disabilities, especially autism, are mocked and shown in a negative light. Not just disability rights activists, but sensible TikTok users are demanding the Chinese video-sharing app to take down videos of autism challenge.
TikTok needs to be sensitive towards disabled community
Last year, TikTok in an open statement had said that they have been taking down videos made by their disabled users on purpose. The videos are not shown on their feeds.
Videos of around ten TikTok users faking a disability had done the rounds on social media last month during the lockdown. Apparently, these users were seen doing the insensitive act when cops came near them. So as an escape, they faked their disability! Activists from the disability sector had called for quick action not just against those who appear on the video, but also against TikTok promoting such videos without any regulations.
It clearly is not ending there. TikTok’s latest autism challenge shows people with autism in a negative light. They are mocked at.
In one of the videos, the user is seen dropping to the floor and moving without any rhythm. This is connected to autism. Not only are these videos insensitive, but they are dangerous and creates misconceptions about disabled people for those who are unaware about it.
Reactions on social media
Hundreds of people shared their views about need for taking down the TikTok autism challenge at the earliest.
“We are shocked and disturbed by the recent @tiktok_us challenge that encourages mean-spirited, discriminatory and cruel behavior toward people with special needs, including autism”, tweeted United States based Autism Speaks.
Rachna Sizemore Heizer shared a video on Twitter of her son playing the guitar. She wrote, “Hey @tiktok_us. See my son below? He has autism. He is also human. He deserves your respect. Take down the offensive autism challenge. It violates your community standards. ITS WRONG. And what is wrong with our society who thinks it’s just fine make fun of 1/48 of our children?”.
“#Tiktok #autismchallenge is #ableism at its worst. This is discrimination! People with #autism do not deserve to be treated like this”, tweeted Greggory Ohannessian, a writer with autism.
“Real quick note on the Autism Challenge on TikTok: This is extremely ableist and wrong. When you make videos mocking people with autism, you tell people in your life with autism (and chances are HIGH you know someone) they are lesser to you. I am absolutely disgusted”, tweeted Elle Rose.
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