TikTok Pap Ndiaye’s sights

LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP French Minister of Education and Youth Pap Ndiaye leaves after attending the weekly Cabinet meeting at the Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris on November 10, 2022. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP

Education Minister Pap Ndiaye wants to crack down on TikTok, which has videos that encourage disruption of secularism in schools.

EDUCATION – Is the Republic really stronger than TikTok as Pap Ndiaye claimed in an interview on October 13? The world ? At that time, the education minister was worried about the increase in attacks against secularism in schools, and he encouraged and convinced him to leave with videos published on social networks. “Do what is necessary to limit as much as possible the harmful influence of these Islamist agitators.”

However, this Wednesday, November 9, ” incidents of attack on secularism “, which has been published every month since the beginning of the school year, is still not reassuring. Reports more than doubled between September and October, from 313 to 720. The increase is significant, as there were 627 cases in the entire first quarter of 2022, and 904 in the second quarter.

More precisely, 40% of the incidents recorded in October were “ wearing badges and costumes » religious, versus 54% in September. Next come verbal provocations (14% compared to 5% in September), protests against education (12%, 7%), rejection of republican values ​​(9%, 2%), and public demands (6%). , against 7%, refusal of school activities (5%, against 7%).

The virality of TikTok videos has attracted attention

After the publication of this information, Pap Ndiaye was asked in the “Quotidien” program “ three explanations to this strong growth: the virality of TikTok videos,” Anniversary of the assassination of Samuel Paty » He was killed by a radicalized youth on October 16, 2020, and we “ strongly encourages business leaders to report all reports”.

In this context, the Ministry of Education attacked. This Thursday, November 10, he issued a circular aimed at strengthening “Methodological, legal and human follow-up and support for sensitive situations”. It is built on four axes: punishing students, protecting and supporting staff, supporting principals and training staff, especially these principals.

On the other hand, if the action in schools, colleges and high schools is not a big problem ” very hard ” Pap Ndiaye admitted on his TMC show to fight against TikTok videos. “We don’t have legal weapons”he cries.

The latter received representatives of the social network at the end of October to let them know that [le ministère n’était] moderation is not satisfactory” On TikTok, that he judges “extremely weak (…) because it intervenes late”. Another challenge raised by Pap Ndiaye “algorithmic bubbles that provide advice videos on how to wear this or that accessory to get in the way of the law (…)”.

no “main trend”TikTok defends itself

Indeed, these videos, sometimes viewed several thousand times, show how to hide a headscarf under a hat, pass an abaya (long dress) for a tunic, or hide it in baggy pants and sweaters. With the algorithm phenomenon, the more a TikTok user follows this content, the more it appears in their news feed.

“We have these waves of videos encouraging people to circumvent the law, to circumvent it more or less skillfully. We want social networks to raise this issue and be more active.”insisted the Minister of Education.

contacted with HuffPostThe Chinese social network claims that “All content that complies with our Community Guidelines and the laws of the countries we operate in is welcome on TikTok. We remove all content that may violate these rules.”

As for attacks on secularism, “It is important to note that the volume of published videos remains low, there is by no means a major trend and their content is very diverse”It clears TikTok.

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