Social media users have called Chinese people “dirty,” using the racial and ethnic stereotypes of Asia that are exaggerated Coronavirus.
Like many young people, Cheenee Osera enjoys sending videos to TikTok. The 23-year-old has amassed nearly 45,000 followers for her upbeat dance and lip sync.
But lately, the joy of socializing has waned. The reason: Osera first received devastating incidents in her live videos following the emergence of a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China, in December.
TikTok users will sprinkle questions, like “Do you have a coronavirus?” or “Have you ever been to China?” in Osera, a Filipino-Chinese American student in the Washington region. Some just wrote “coronavirus” next to the green emoji.
“It is disheartening and disappointing that we Asian people are dealing with this,” Osera said, adding that she blocked other users after filtering the words “corona” and “coronavirus” to stop the uninformed comments. “People should understand that just because you see an Asian person, doesn’t mean we have a coronavirus.”
Osera is not the only person to argue about this problem of social media. As COVID-19, a coronavirus-related respiratory illness, spreads, people in Asia have become victims of hate speech, racism and social media on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok. None of these companies seem perfectly prepared to handle the outbreak of extremism, and they all struggle to balance their laws with hate speech with their support of free speech.