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TikTok Suspends Accounts Of ‘Team 07’ For Posting Video On The Lynching Of Tabrez Ansari. Hate Speech Or Freedom Of Speech?

The online short video sharing platform TikTok has suspended the accounts of a popular group called “Team 07” for posting a video speaking out against the mob lynching of Muslim youth Tabrez Ansari in Jharkhand. TikTok’s action follows a police complaint filed against the group by Shiv Sena IT cell chief Ramesh Solanki.

The members of the group — Faisal Shaikh, Hasnain Khan, Faiz Baloch, Adnan Shaikh and Sadhan Faroqui – uploaded a video, in which they are seen enacting a message that says, “Innocent Tabrez was killed, but if Tabrez’s son grows up and takes revenge then Muslims shouldn’t be termed as terrorists.”

24-year-old Tabrez Ansari was lynched by a terrorist mob in Jharkhand’s Seraikela Kharswan district on June 18. According to a video widely shared on social media, the mob had tied to a pole and forced him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Jai Hanuman’. Tabrez succumbed to injuries four days later.

The complainant Ramesh Solanki has mentioned that the video uploaded is divisive, inflammatory and incitement to violence.

“The video in question, which has violated our Community Guidelines, is no longer available on TikTok. Such irresponsible acts will not be tolerated on our platform, hence we have suspended three user accounts and are cooperating with law enforcement agencies,” TikTok said in a statement.

The three user accounts that have been removed belong to Hasnain Khan, Faisal Shaikh and Sadhan Faroqui.

The video, which soon went viral on different social media platforms has divided the internet, while some criticising it for allegedly creating hatred and animosity, while others supporting the group for speaking out against lynchings that have torn apart the social fabric of the country.

AIMIM MLA from Mumbai’s Byculla, Waris Pathan also came out in support of the group. In an interview, he said that the constitution of the country gives freedom of speech for everyone to express their thoughts, and that’s what the group did. “Are we not even allowed to talk against the lynchings that are happening in the country?” he asked.

Actor Ajaz Khan lashed out at Shiv Sena’s Ramesh Solanki for filing a complaint and said that the group is made up of young people, who are only eking out a living by making videos, and that there is nothing wrong in what they said.

‘Team 07’ comprises of some of the biggest Tiktok celebrities in the country, where Faisal who goes with the name Mr Faisu has a following over 24 million. The group has a combined following of over 4 crore people.

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Shaik Zakeer Hussain is the Founder and Editor of The Cognate.

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