TikTok star Faizal Siddiqui, who commands a large fan following on the video sharing application, has been banned from the platform after posting a video that appeared to ‘glorify’ an acid attack on a spurned lover.
The video caused outrage on social media and has also drawn condemnation from prominent Bollywood celebrities, including actress-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt and actress and activist Swara Bhasker.
Siddiqui, who commanded a 13 million strong following on TikTok, posted a clip that sees him confront a woman who he accuses of betrayal, before flinging liquid in her face. The woman’s face is painted to suggest it has been disfigured.
Before throwing the liquid, Siddiqui is heard saying: “Tumhe usne chhorr diya jiske liye tumne mujhe chhorra tha? [The guy you left me for, has now left you?].”
TikTok has stated Siddiqui’s account was banned due to multiple community guidelines violations and were working with law enforcement agencies as appropriate.
In a post on Twitter, TikTok India further stated: “Promoting a safe and positive environment is a top priority with TikTok. Our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines clearly outlines what is and is not acceptable on our platform.”
The statement further reads that the platform has acted on several pieces of content that has violated the policies in recent days, adding: “We have taken actions including taking down content, suspending accounts of the concerned users and/or working with law enforcement agencies, as appropriate.”
Acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal, who was the subject of a Bollywood film as well starring Deepika Padukone, also took to Instagram to thank India’s National Commission for Women for bringing the video to light and filing a complaint that resulted in the content being taken down.
“Thanks to National Commission for Women for taking cognisance of the viral video by TikTok ‘influencer’ Faizal Siddiqui promoting acid attack. Such videos/actions should be strictly debarred which are against the society,” wrote Agarwal. “We are working day and night to stop the acid attacks, violence against women. This cringe activity is not called influencing but promoting crime. Such persons are curse to our society. So it is important to ban such videos and accounts from the social media.”
Bollywood star Bhasker also took to Twitter to condemn the video, stating: “Hey @TikTok_IN why and how are you allowing this kind of content — which is so obviously celebrating and promoting aggression and violence against women, and perpetrating false misogynistic stereotypes — to be published & viewed freely on your platform??? #Shame.”
Bhatt also took to Twitter stating: “What on earth is wrong with people? This is depraved. How can you allow this kind of content on your platform @TikTok_IN. This man needs to be taken to task. As for the woman in the video — do you realise what immense harm you are causing by participating in this?”
Actor Ashish Chowdhry also weighed in and called it a pure example of sick side of social media.
“Pure example of the sick and diseased side of social media. @TikTok_IN must show sense by chopping of its tumour infected parts. There’s a bunch of stupidly enthusiastic people doing just about anything on social media, who must be shown the door in order to keep a proper decorum.”