Study: Anti-Semitic TikTok hate up by 912%

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Tik Tok Logo (File).

Researchers found “usernames with anti-Semitic titles (e.g. @holocaustwasgood or @eviljews)” had risen by 1,375 percent and anti-Semitic posts were up by 41 percent.

A new study revealed a staggering increase in anti-Semitic content on the social media platform TikTok, with researchers finding content hateful to Jews spiking by 912 percent on the heels of the May 2021 Israel – Gaza clash Operation Guardian of the Walls.

The study, carried out by Dr. Gabriel Weimann, a professor of communication at University of Haifa and Natalie Masri, a research assistant at the IDC Herzliya’s Institute for Counter-Terrorism, found a marked increase in anti-Semitic “posts, images, and rhetoric,” compared to the same four month time period in 2020.

Researchers found “usernames with anti-Semitic titles (e.g. @holocaustwasgood or @eviljews)” had risen by 1,375 percent and anti-Semitic posts were up by 41 percent.

“It may be easy to dismiss the platform as an innocuous forum for children who want to be creative. However, TikTok’s catering to young, impressionable and naive audiences, combined with bad-faith actors who are posting hateful content online, is something that should be taken very seriously,” Weimann said in a statement.

Some examples of hatred on the platform cited in the study included a Holocaust Memorial Day video that was inundated with hateful comments and profanity, clips of users performing making Nazi salutes, Nazi-era propaganda depictions of Jews with long, hooked noses, and videos suggesting that either the Holocaust never happened, or the Jews “deserved it.”

With 1.2 billion active users, TikTok is one of the most popular social media sites in the world. A substantial portion of its audience – 41 percent – are between the ages of 16 and 24.

The fact that younger users are exposed to hateful content should be of particular concern, Weimann said.

He pointed out while TikTok recently expressed a commitment to weeding out incitement and hatred, the abundance of anti-Semitic content readily available on the platform proves that the industry titan hasn’t actually followed through on its promises.

“They certainly should apply their own Terms of Use and they’re failing to do so properly,” he said.

“Moreover, their algorithm just promotes hate by sending such messages to those who expressed interest, sending a user down a rabbit hole of hatred.”

Weimann and Masri wrote in the study that the disturbing results “come during growing calls for tighter and stiffer regulation of social media.

“TikTok claims on its homepage that it is ‘raw, real, and without boundaries,” the researchers noted.

“But the lack of boundaries combined with the growing success of this platform, make it an ideal virtual home for hate speech and extremist content.”

(World Israel News).

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