A leading child safety advocate, who has previously advised TikTok on how to keep kids safe on the platform, has been banned for posting a duet with a video promoting the latest Borat movie.
Eva Fog, a Danish child safety expert with a decade of experience, woke up on the morning of October 23 to discover her main account on TikTok, @evafog, had been banned.
The notice Fog received through the app was that her “account was permanently banned due to multiple violations of our Community Guidelines.” She claims that she has never received a temporary ban on her account during her time on TikTok, which she joined in January 2020.
“I’ve had very few violations prior [to this],” she told Dexerto. “Those few were pretty harmless, like me duetting a female body positivity video and showing my belly.”
“I am a child advocate for minors, specialising in their digital lives and communities,” she said. “I have used TikTok as a platform to inform, guide, and help the minors of Denmark with my account.”
Earlier this year, Fog worked as a consultant with Save the Children Denmark, who were helping TikTok develop guidelines and policies to ensure children were kept safe.
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She used her TikTok account to advise children on how to use the app and other digital platforms safely. “I have prevented suicides, consoled victims of bullying, and advised victims of digital exploitation – just to mention a few things,” she said.
I have had very few violations. The last was a duet with Amazon. An official channel. I have NEVER done anything that warrants this. I have never received a temp ban either. I’m a child advocate that makes your platform safer and better in Denmark @tiktok_us @tiktok_comms
— Eva Fog (@evafogdk) October 23, 2020
The account had 13,500 followers, and her videos nearly half a million likes before it was banned. Fog believes that a duet with an official TikTok posted by Amazon Prime Video’s account, which has been seen 560,000 times to date, was the reason she was banned.
In the original video, Sacha Baron Cohen’s character appears in his idiosyncratic mask-based mankini outfit, saying “This is how you put on a mask.”
In the duet, Fog closed her eyes when the camera zoomed out to show the character wearing only the mask mankini.
The video is one of millions of videos removed regularly by TikTok. The app said in its latest transparency report that it removed nearly 105 million videos in the first six months of 2020, 31% of them for adult nudity and sexual activities.
The app said that 90.3% of its videos were removed before they received any views, and 96.4% of videos were proactively removed by the app before a user reported them.
But in this case, overzealous moderation – perhaps by algorithm – appears to have banned one of its biggest defenders when it comes to child safety.
“Having my account banned has basically stopped me from doing my job,” she added. “There is no other platform on which the youth of Denmark frequent as much as TikTok, and by banning my account, my connection to them has been severed.”
Dexerto approached TikTok for comment just before 11am, setting a deadline for a response by mid-afternoon. By 1:30pm, Fog’s account, including the controversial video that got her banned, was reinstated. TikTok has yet to provide a response to this story.