The Chinese government does not like to hear the word "re-education camp".

According to official language, "voluntary vocational training centers" are operated in the Xinjiang region in the north-west of the People's Republic, in which "extremist ideas" are fought.

According to estimates by civil society organizations, a million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities are being held in camps there.

On January 20, the French Parliament spoke of genocide: "The National Assembly officially recognizes the acts of violence committed by the authorities of the People's Republic of China against the Uyghurs as crimes against humanity and as genocide," read a resolution, which was passed by 169 votes to 1, with five abstentions.

At the beginning of February, a former Chinese police officer, who now lives in exile in Germany, reported that entire villages in the region had been taken to re-education camps: "The aim is to break people's will.

This is brainwashing.”

Fridtjof Küchemann

Editor in the Feuilleton.

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This is the echo of a report published by editor Sebastian Meineck on the website on Thursday.

The journalist noticed that Tiktok, the popular social network for distributing short videos, is redacting certain words with asterisks, including "re-education camp", "labor camp", "internment camp", "concentration camp" and "extermination camp".

At the beginning of February, a new function also enabled German users to automatically generate subtitles for their videos.

However, “re-education camp” became “re-education************”.

Tiktok is the best-known product in the West by the Chinese company Bytedance.

In January, Tiktok had one billion users worldwide.

According to the annual German youth media study JIM, in 2020 almost every second young person between the ages of 12 and 19 watched short videos on the social network several times a week.

In China, Bytedance maintains a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Public Security. On its German-language website, Tiktok describes its mission as "promoting creativity and bringing joy".

A Dec. 2 report published there recorded 2,434 government requests to remove or restrict content or accounts in the first half of the year, nearly six times the previous six months.

When the new function was no longer available on a smartphone from in the middle of the week, the editors contacted the Tiktok press office and received the answer: "In a recent test of subtitles, outdated English language protection measures were incorrectly used for the German Function applied.” A surprising explanation: It is well known that words like “thought experiment” or “realpolitik” made it from German into English.

For "re-education camps" that would be new.