TikTok tolerates inappropriate content

By Luu Quy   December 3, 2022 | 03:49 pm PT
TikTok tolerates inappropriate content
A screenshot shows a No O No TikTok account carries a number of videos from Pham Duc Tuan's banned account on December 2, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Luu Quy
Millions of people are watching videos on newly established accounts all called No O No though TikTok permanently deleted an account with that name last week for humiliating people.

Typing in "No O No" on TikTok on Friday turned up hundreds of accounts with the name, with the same profile picture as the original account and even linked to it.

A boycott by Vietnamese netizens prompted TikTok to ban Pham Duc Tuan's No O No account for posting videos of himself publicly humiliating people while serving them free food.

The platform claimed it has prevented the 26-year-old creator from creating a new account, but one of the No O No accounts does belong to Tuan.

It has had 11 videos uploaded since November 29, the day after the original account was banned.

The platform had 63,000 subscribers in the beginning, but the number rose to 209,000 in four days, and several videos got over a million views.

It said in an introductory video on the new account: "This is Tuan's second channel. Please help me reach 1,000 followers quickly so I can start live-streaming on this account."

It contains original sound, which means the content is uploaded by the channel owner and not a bot.

After a few days the channel also carried a number of other videos from the former channel, attracting from a few hundred thousand to over 1.2 million views.

Le Cong Minh Khoi, an experienced content creator on TikTok, said though the platform claims to have permanently banned the original No O No account, it has not cleared it of its contents to retain users.

This has caused many of the other new No O No accounts to gain a ton of new followers in the past few days.

For instance, on Friday afternoon one of them posted collages of images and clips from the banned account on live stream, attracting almost a thousand viewers at one point.

Numerous videos on this channel have amassed 6–8 million views and tens of thousands of "likes."

TikTok has not responded to the criticism.

Over 600,000 followers had originally been drawn to No O No for his restaurant and retail reviews before Tuan started posting videos of himself degrading poor people while ostensibly making charity trips to feed seniors.

In one video, he asks an elderly woman on the street what her favorite food is and then surprises her with a free serving of it he has in his hands.

But instead of just giving it to her, he says rude and offensive things like "Hello poor old miserable lady, alone in the middle of the winter," "You’re poor, why didn’t you take the food?" "You can’t even buy a cheap bowl of pho," and "Stop being poor, no one can help you forever."

On November 28, after deleting his account, the platform posted a notice saying it "does not allow any content or behavior that breaches community standards."

Le Quang Tu Do, director of the Department of Radio, Television and Electronic Information at the Ministry of Information and Communication, said at a seminar on online advertising on November 30 that social media platforms remain too lax when it comes to screening content.

They just want to make money through advertising and do not care whether the content is legal or not offensive.

"In the No O No case, only when the authorities made a strong request did TikTok take action," Do said, adding that although they have asked the platform to handle fake accounts mimicking No O No, they still exist.

No O No is just the latest addition to a litany of Vietnamese YouTube, TikTok and Facebook accounts that have been penalized for bad behavior.

Vietnamese regulations provide for a fine of VND5-10 million ($202-404) for posting and sharing content not in accordance with customs.

But Do pointed out that, after paying the fine, users often continue to produce similar content in violation of cultural regulations.

Tuan has been fined VND7.5 million.

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