A popular TikTok trend has encouraged members of Gen Z to get matching tattoos of a symbol associated with Nazism.
The symbol, a capital Z with a line through the middle, was proposed by the user who started the trend, @smoothavacado, as a representation of “unity” and “a sign of rebellion” for Gen Z.
That user has since made her account private, but a user with the handle @kcmbrly made a duet with the original clip on Sunday. The video, in which the user explains that the symbol is similar to a Nazi symbol, has more than one million views.
The TikTok user who started the trend later said in a video that she did not know the symbol had connections to Nazism and renounced the idea.
“It was about love and unity,” she said through tears. The TikTok drama Twitter account @DefNoodles obtained and posted the video in a tweet before the channel became unavailable.
The German symbol is called a Wolfsangel, and versions of it have been used to symbolize various groups for hundreds of years. It has also been used in coats of arms for several cities in Europe. The form of the symbol in its modern Nazi use is a backward Z, while the version popularized on TikTok is a regular English zed character.