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Disturbing: tasteless TikTok “trend” downplays women’s murders

Disturbing: tasteless TikTok “trend” downplays women’s murders

A new TikTok “trend” causes great outrage. Young men make fun of femicide and at the same time present their ideas on how they would murder women on a first date.

Fabian Gernjak
22 March 2022 16:32

On the popular but not uncontroversial social media platform Tiktok, a new “trend” recently emerged: Male users use the video platform to make fun of femicide and also to present their own fantasies of murdering women. Now the SPÖ women’s spokeswoman Eva-Maria Holzleitner and the SPÖ’s network policy spokeswoman, Katharina Kucharowits, are warning the producers of such concoctions: “You are not only downplaying violence, but a criminal offense and very specifically murder!” It said in a broadcast on Tuesday.

Playing down violence is “highly dangerous”

“Young men post videos online where they make fun of femicide and describe how they would murder women on first dates,” Holzleitner and Kucharowits describe the content of such videos. “Imagine we go bowling together on our first date and all of a sudden I start throwing balls at you until you just die,” says one man while grinning at the camera.

To see violence and femicide playing down as part of online challenges or social media postings is “extremely dangerous! Therefore, measures are urgently needed to stop these trends,” the two politicians demand.

Kucharowits emphasizes the importance of basic digital education

Kucharowits emphasized the importance of a basic digital education “with a strong focus on media literacy already in school” that helps users to understand the impact of any challenges and postings. Holzleitner advocates an increase in the number of counseling centers for women and girls and those against hate online. “Femicide is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to violence against women, making fun of it is a slap in the face to all the survivors of the murdered. Challenges, like those on TikTok, are not fun, but the first stage of violence,” the two MPs concluded.

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