By Arré Bench May. 19, 2020
TikTok star Faizal Siddiqui’s viral video promoting acid attacks has been taken down. But objectionable content on the platform is far too common.
Before this morning, Faizal Siddiqui was well known on the social media platform TikTok, while remaining under the mainstream’s radar. However, after one of his videos went viral, his name was trending on Twitter and appearing on news channels, but it wasn’t the kind of fame he was hoping for when he signed up to the social media platform. The viral video in question had Siddiqui in the role of a jilted lover who simulates an acid attack on the girl who left him.
This is Faizal Siddiqui, brother of Amir Siddiqui. Promoting acid attack through his Tik Tok account and they call themselves as Social Media influencer! this cringe activity is not called influencing but promoting crime. They are such a curse!! #BanTiktok pic.twitter.com/XY2g3kRQN9
— Kolkata_Chhori (@Kolkata_Chhori) May 18, 2020
The clip of the video doing the rounds has all the hallmarks of an Indian TikTok influencer’s content, namely lip-synched dialogues and garish aesthetics. However, the portrayal of an acid attack is far more offensive. Siddiqui’s video attracted the attention of the National Commission of Women, who wrote to TikTok to have it taken down.
— NCW (@NCWIndia) May 18, 2020
For its part, TikTok complied with the NCW’s request, and the video was taken down. However, the NCW also requested that Maharashtra’s DGP look into the matter and that strict action be taken against Siddiqui for his irresponsible content. For Siddiqui, the entire fiasco began when the spokesperson for BJP Delhi, Tajinder Bagga, brought the clip to the attention of Rekha Sharma, the chairperson of NCW.
— Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga (@TajinderBagga) May 17, 2020
Once the video went viral and outrage started to build, it was only a matter of time before the repercussions for Siddiqui turned serious. Indeed, today an FIR against Siddiqui was filed in Mumbai, giving police grounds to detain the influencer.
Filed FIR in Mum. against Faizal Siddiqui for glorifying acid attack through his TikTok Account.
I request @MumbaiPolice to arrest him on immediate priority u/s IPC 509, IT Act 66 before these so called 'influencers' influence others to conduct such heinous crime against women. pic.twitter.com/tWQLjOeRN6
— Chirag Jha🔥 (@AgniChirag) May 18, 2020
While the uproar over Siddiqui’s video is fresh, it’s also worth noting how TikTok has often come under scrutiny for objectionable videos being posted on the platform. Though it is only a simulation of actual acts, rampant misogyny pervades the videos uploaded to TikTok, with videos of men hitting women, or acting in otherwise oppressive ways. Many of these videos are even highlighted on the official account of TikTok India.