Jewish Celebrities Confront TikTok Over Surge in Antisemitic Content

  1. Antisemitic Surge on TikTok:

    • Jewish celebrities and influencers, including Sacha Baron Cohen, Debra Messing, and Amy Schumer, held a 90-minute video call with TikTok executives to address concerns about a notable increase in antisemitic content and misinformation on the platform.
    • The rise in hateful content is reportedly linked to events following the October 7 Hamas attack.
  2. Alarming Comparison and Criticism:

    • Sacha Baron Cohen, during the meeting, criticized TikTok, stating, “What is happening at TikTok is creating the biggest antisemitic movement since the Nazis. Shame on you.”
    • The celebrities expressed alarm at the potential impact of antisemitic content, linking it to the October 7 attack by Hamas and emphasizing the role of imagery in fostering hatred.
  3. Concerns About Specific Phrases:

    • Debra Messing raised questions about TikTok not blocking the phrase “from the river to the sea,” which is interpreted by many as a call for the extermination of Israel.
  4. TikTok’s Response:

    • TikTok responded to the concerns, acknowledging the difficult time for many worldwide and within its community.
    • The statement highlighted TikTok’s ongoing efforts to collaborate with creators, civil society, human rights experts, and stakeholders to address concerns and maintain the platform as a space for community, discovery, and authentic sharing.
  5. TikTok’s Countermeasures:

    • TikTok reported enhancing its efforts to combat the issue, including the removal of over 24 million fake accounts globally and more than 500,000 “bot comments” related to the conflict since the October 7 attack by Hamas.
    • The company aims to tackle the spread of misinformation and hateful content on its platform.
  6. Wider Impact on Social Media:

    • According to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic content has surged by over 919 percent on X and 28 percent on Facebook since the October 7 attack, highlighting a broader issue across social media platforms.

The meeting reflects a growing concern among public figures about the rise of antisemitic content on TikTok and its potential impact, prompting calls for the platform to take more robust measures in addressing and preventing such content.

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