The videos juxtapose traditional fitness and martial arts imagery with white supremacist flags, symbols, and messages. TikTok is now rushing to remove them. Recruitment videos for a new cluster of white supremacist groups called “Active Clubs” may have accumulated millions of views on TikTok, according to a Forbes review of related accounts and hashtags on the popular short video platform. The hashtags #activeclub and #aktivklubb had received a cumulative 4.5 million views on the platform as of Saturday Oct. 14, with variations like #activeclubfrance, #activeclubdietsland and #activeclubfinland bringing in hundreds of thousands more. Many of the videos feature scenes of white men working out and fighting — often with their faces masked, blurred or covered — alongside white supremacist symbols, flags and messages. Some feature actions, like men pulling down and trampling pride flags and confronting police officers at protests. One video from @activefinland juxtaposed footage of muscular white men punching at the camera with scenes of nonwhite immigrants in boats. Other posts featured Confederate flags and the insignia of the Three Percenters, an American and Canadian far-right group that helped organize the January 6, 2021 siege on the U.S. Capitol. Active Clubs were first developed by Robert Rundo, founder of the racist Rise Above Movement, and popularized through a podcast co-hosted by Rundo and German neo-Nazi Denis Kaputsin in 2021, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The clubs cast physical fitness and survivalism as necessary for white men to prepare for racial violence and fights against “antifa.” Like other far-right militia movements, the Active Club network has embraced a decentralized, localized model that makes it more difficult for law enforcement agencies — and social media companies — to identify and track them. TikTok’s community guidelines do not allow “[c]ontent that praises, promotes, glorifies, or supports any hateful ideology” or includes white supremacist symbols, logos, flags or other objects related to the white supremacist movement. After receiving a request for comment from Forbes, TikTok removed a number of videos using Active Club hashtags. Company spokesperson Mahsau Cullinane said in a statement, “There is no place for hate speech or hateful ideologies on TikTok, and we moved to remove content that violated our policies as soon as we were made aware of it.” Still, at the time of publication, the TikTok hashtags #activeclub and #activklubb still surfaced numerous videos connected to the Active Club movement. Mahsau did not answer questions about whether the company planned to reduce the visibility or recommendability of content that used these hashtags, or about whether the hashtags themselves would be made unavailable on the platform.

via forbes: On TikTok, White Supremacist ‘Active Club’ Recruitment Videos May Have Reached Millions