TikTok deny claims that the social media is bias in the Israel-Hamas war, after US congressman and women calls efforts to ban the app over the apparent popularity of pro-Palestinian content on the platform.
The ByteDance owned company released a press statement to set the record straight in its defence about the issue titled, ‘The truth about TikTok hashtags and content during the Israel-Hamas war.’
“Over 1 billion people come to TikTok to find community, discover and learn. As a platform, we take our responsibility seriously to keep our community safe and welcoming while working relentlessly to combat antisemitism, hate speech, misinformation, and violent behaviour,” reads the press statement.
In light of misinformation and mischaracterization about how the TikTok platform actually operates, it’s important for everyone to have the facts.
“It’s critical to understand that hashtags on the platform are created and added to videos by content creators, not TikTok. Millions of people in regions such as the Middle East and South East Asia account for a significant proportion of views on hashtags. Therefore, there’s more content with #freepalestine and #standwithpalestine and more overall views. It is easy to cherry pick hashtags to support a false narrative about the platform.”
TikTok adds,” the number of videos associated with a hashtag, alone, do not provide sufficient context. For example, the hashtag #standwithIsrael may be associated with fewer videos than #freePalestine, but it has 68% more views per video in the US, which means more people are seeing the content. And, some hashtags are newer (e.g. #standwithIsrael) while others are more established (e.g. #freePalestine)–the vast majority (9 in 10) of videos tagged #standwithIsrael were posted in the last 30 days in the US. A difference in views and posts is expected.”
As a matter of fact, TikTok removed 100% of antisemitic or Holocaust denial content Fighting Online Antisemitism reported through our Community Partner Channel last year.
“This is in addition to our proactive efforts to identify and remove hate speech before it’s reported. Nine times out of ten, TikTok removes hate speech before it’s reported,” said the company.