Ethnic violence is not new to Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in western China. Tensions between Uighurs and ethnic Han Chinese have escalated many times in the past as more Han migrate to the area. In July 2011, there were several incidents, including a riot in the Uighur-dominated town of Hotan that resulted in 14 deaths.
Critics allege that China persecutes Uighurs, who are mostly Muslim, under the pretense of fighting a "war on terror". Chinese officials, meanwhile, allege that Uighur fighters received training and materiel from supporters based in Pakistan.
While sharing videos of these incidents help bring light to Uighur issues outside of China, they also serve to inflame anti-Uighur opinion in other regions of the country.
These are some of the social media elements featured in this episode of The Stream.