Asian people particularly the Chinese are facing racism remarks on social media after the pandemic outbreak last year in Wuhan city of China. Cheenee Osera, a Chinese American, enjoys posting videos to TikTok like other young people in the world. The 23-year-old has almost 45,000 followers with her upbeat dance moves and lip-syncing.
A Queenie Wong article published in CNet has something to tell us about what is happening with the Asian TikTok users following the coronavirus outbreak. Wong says the joy of the social network has faded. The reason: Osera started receiving a flood of hurtful remarks on her live videos after the novel coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China, in December.
TikTok users will spray questions, like "Do you have the coronavirus?" or "Have you been to China?," at Osera, a Filipino-Chinese American student in Washington state. Some just write "coronavirus" alongside a green microbe emoji.
"It's upsetting and disheartening that us Asians are dealing with this," Osera said, adding that she blocked some users after filtering out comments with the words "corona" and "coronavirus" didn't stop the ignorant remarks. "People need to understand that just because you see an Asian, that doesn't necessarily mean we have the coronavirus."
Osera isn't the only person grappling with this social media woe. As COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, spreads, Asians have become the target of hateful, racist and xenophobic remarks on social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. None of these companies seems fully prepared to handle the burst in bigotry, and all are struggling to balance their rules against hate speech with their support of free expression.
Politicians have also been accused of making xenophobic and racist remarks. President Donald Trump has referred to the contagion as the "Chinese virus," a term that critics say deflects from the global nature of the pandemic and stokes discrimination against Asian Americans and immigrants. Trump has said the term isn't racist because the illness was first detected in China.
In some cases, Asian people have been taunted or assaulted by people using coronavirus as an excuse. A man attacked an Asian woman wearing a mask in a New York subway station in a video tweeted by the New York Police Department Hate Crimes Task Force in February. A person who witnessed the incident said the attacker called the Asian woman a "diseased bitch." Two teens were arrested after allegedly beating up a 23-year-old Singaporean man in London earlier this month. The man, Jonathan Mok, told BBC News that one attacker who kicked him said, "I don't want your coronavirus in my country." Nearly two dozen Asian-Americans told The New York Times they were afraid to do activities such as grocery shopping and have been yelled at in public.