TikTok announces crackdown on antisemitism and ‘hurtful stereotypes’ about Jews

TikTok has launched a crackdown on antisemitic content and the use of “hurtful stereotypes” about Jews.

The video-sharing giant outlined a series of measures to eradicate racism this week, with a focus on improving detection and enforcement.

In Wednesday’s announcement, the firm said it “will stem the spread of coded language and symbols that can normalise hateful speech and behaviour”, while clamping down on ideologies “such as neo-Nazism and white supremacy”.

The platform added it is “strengthening our enforcement” of its policies, and will “remove misinformation and hurtful stereotypes about Jewish, Muslim and other communities”, including “about notable Jewish individuals and families who are used as proxies to spread antisemitism”.

“We regularly train our enforcement teams to better detect evolving hateful behaviour, symbols, terms, and offensive stereotypes”, it added, while investing in “our ability to detect and triage” racist content.

This comes after TikTok joined the European Commission’s Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online.

Mark Gardner, Chief Executive of the Community Security Trust said TikTok “is a platform of growing importance and influence, especially amongst younger people, and CST is pleased to have contributed to this strengthening of their policies against antisemitism and other forms of hate speech.”

The Antisemitism Policy Trust’s Chief Executive, Danny Stone, also praised the social media platform. It has a “large, and growing audience and an equally big responsibility”, he said, and those using it must “not be served up hate materials”.

Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, welcomed the tightening of its policies, stressing social media companies’ “responsibility to ensure that hate is not free flowing on their platforms.”

Welcoming the move, she said HET would work with the company to “ensure that Holocaust denial, distortion and antisemitism are not welcomed, shared or supported on TikTok.”

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said: “We commend TikTok’s decision to crack down on antisemitic conspiracy theories, including misinformation about “notable Jewish individuals and families who are used as proxies to spread antisemitism”. We have held several productive discussions on this topic with the company over the past few months and look forward to continuing working with them in the future.”