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China Urged to Tackle Online Racism Targeting Black People

Human Rights Watch says racist tropes ‘common’ across Chinese social media, and that platforms and government must act.

Human Rights Watch has found racist content targeting Black people is becoming increasingly prevalent on China’s social media platforms where it is being used to attract traffic and generate profit.

The rights group reviewed hundreds of videos and posts from 2021 on platforms including Weibo, a short messaging app, and Douyin, the Chinese TikTok, and said it found that content often portrayed Black people through “offensive racial stereotypes”.

Such material was also found on the video-sharing platform Bilibili, Livestream and video app Kuaishou, and social media and e-commerce site Xiaohongshu, it said, noting that the companies had failed to deal with it.

“The amount and extremity of racist content on the Chinese internet suggest that the platforms either are not meeting their own standards banning racist content, or that their policies are inadequate when addressing racist content, both contrary to their human rights responsibilities,” the report said.

Human Rights Watch noted that influencer videos depicting Black Africans as primitive or dependent on Chinese people as their saviours were particularly widely shared, while Black people who married Chinese were accused in online posts of “contaminating” and threatening the Chinese race. Chinese in relationships with Black people, meanwhile, were accused of being traitors.

“The Chinese government likes to tout China-Africa anti-colonial solidarity and unity, but at the same time, ignores pervasive hate speech against Black people on the Chinese internet,” Yaqiu Wang, senior China researcher at Human Rights Watch said in a statement. “Beijing should recognise that undertaking investments in Africa and embracing China-Africa friendship won’t undo harm caused by unaddressed racism.”

Source : Aljazeera