TikTok pledges to raise Holocaust awareness

Social media platform with more than a billion active users pledges on Holocaust Remembrance Day to combat antisemitic content.

By World Israel News Staff

Chinese-owned social media app TikTok, which has a staggering 1 billion active monthly users, announced Thursday that it is partnering with UNESCO and the World Jewish Congress to combat Holocaust denial on the platform.

The announcement, made on Holocaust Remembrance Day, comes after the ADL and other Jewish advocacy groups criticized TikTok for promoting and refusing to remove antisemitic content on the platform.

“Starting today, if people search for a term related to the Holocaust – such as ‘Holocaust victims’ or ‘Holocaust survivor’ – they will see a banner at the top of the search results page that prompts them to visit aboutholocaust.org to learn more,” said TikTok’s public policy director Eric Ebenstein and government relations director Elizabeth Kanter in a joint statement.

“For community members who search for terms related to the Holocaust that violate our Community Guidelines, we’ll continue to block search results and additionally display this banner to direct them to the WJC and UNESCO educational resources,” the statement said.

Some 50 percent of TikTok’s users are under the age of 34, with about one third between the ages of 10 and 19.

By partnering with TikTok, UNESCO and WJC said they hope to educate and influence a younger generation of social media users who may be unfamiliar with the Holocaust..

“Denying, distorting or trivializing the true facts of the Holocaust is a pernicious form of contemporary antisemitism,” said Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO’s director general, in a statement..

“We welcome TikTok’s commitment to act with UNESCO and the WJC. All online platforms must take responsibility for the spread of hate speech by promoting reliable sources of information.”

“The World Jewish Congress is proud to partner with UNESCO and TikTok in making factual and reliable information about the Holocaust available to the TikTok community,” said Ronald S. Lauder, the WJC’s president.

“TikTok allows us to reach a new audience, some of whom may be uninformed about the horrors of the Holocaust and therefore be potentially susceptible to misinformation. We welcome the platform taking responsibility and leveraging its reach to stop the spread of antisemitism and Holocaust denial.”

In July 2021, researchers found that TikTok content hateful to Jews spiked by 912 percent on the heels of the May 2021 Israel-Gaza clash Operation Guardian of the Walls.

“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,” the researchers said in a statement.