New Antisemitism on TikTok

Gabriel Weimann, Natalie Masri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

The growing presence of antisemitism on social media platforms has become more prominent in recent years. Yet, while most of the scholarly attention has been focused on leading platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, the extremist immigration to other platforms like TikTok went unnoticed. TikTok is the fastest-growing application today, attracting a huge audience of 1.2 billion active users, most of them children and teenagers. This study is based on a systematic content analysis of TikTok videos. Our findings highlight the alarming presence of extreme antisemitic messages in video clips, songs, comments, texts, pictures, and symbols present in content posted on TikTok. Though similar issues have been raised regarding other online social media platforms, TikTok’s unique attributes make it more worrying: First, unlike on other online social media platforms, TikTok's users are almost all young, mostly children and teenagers who are more naïve and susceptible when it comes to malevolent content (Statista, 2021). Second, TikTok is owned by a Chinese company and therefore less open to regulation, public pressure, and measures to defend their users from hateful, violent, and dangerous content. Finally, it appears that TikTok does not apply its own Terms of Service that do not allow content “deliberately designed to provoke or antagonize people, or are intended to harass, harm, hurt, scare, distress, embarrass or upset people or include threats of physical violence.”
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAntisemitism on Social Media
EditorsS. Von Mering, M. Hübscher
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge
ISBN (Electronic)9781003200499
ISBN (Print)9781032059693
StatePublished - 2022

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