Two accounts found to be impersonating separate Cape Town schools have been taken down from popular video-sharing app TikTok for racist content.
In November 2020 the Western Cape Education Department (WCED), Table View High School, and police began working together to investigate TikTok accounts where racist remarks are made against black learners from the school.
In the videos, footage of the learners was run with racist commentary, including the use of the k-word.
According to WCED spokesperson Bronagh Hammond, one of the accounts belongs to a 15-year-old student at Table View High School, and the other account is in the name of the school. Hammond adds that the account was unlawfully registered in the name of the school.
“The WCED has engaged with the school and has confirmed that the learner’s account has allegedly been impersonated. The parents have submitted the learner’s phone to SAPS and have opened a case of defamation of character,” the WCED said in a statement on Thursday, November 19.
In mid-January 2021, another account purportedly representing Milnerton High School also shared videos of a similar racist nature. The school has since confirmed that they do not have a TikTok account and asked people to report the fraudulent account to help have it taken down.
TikTok’s publicity firm has now confirmed that both fake school accounts have been deactivated.
“With regards to Table View High School, TikTok issued a permanent device ban and corresponding ban for several associated accounts for hate speech violations on 20th Nov 2020; and the Milnerton High School account reported was permanently banned on Jan 18 2021,” their publicity firm said in a statement.