May 27, 2022

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Future Technology

TikTok says it wants to educate users about the Holocaust and antisemitism

TikTok is rolling out new features on Holocaust Remembrance Day.


Angela Lang/CNET

TikTok said Thursday that it’s trying to make it easier for people to find credible information about the Holocaust, the Jewish community and antisemitism on the short-form video app.

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TikTok said that in the coming months it will start displaying a banner at the bottom of videos about the Holocaust that directs people to credible information about the genocide. 


TikTok

People who search for terms related to the Holocaust such as “Holocaust survivor” will see a banner that includes a link to aboutholocaust.org, a website created by the World Jewish Congress and UNESCO. “Remember to consult trusted sources to prevent the spread of hate and misinformation,” the banner reads. TikTok will also display the banner when a user searches for a Holocaust related term that violates TikTok’s rules. In the coming months, the information will also appear at the bottom of videos that use hashtags related to the Holocaust. TikTok will also recommend users visit aboutholocaust.org when they search for hashtags such as #Holocaust. 

“Education is one of the most powerful ways to counter hate,” TikTok’s director of public policy, Eric Ebenstein, and its director of government relations, Elizabeth Kanter, said in a blog post.

TikTok’s release of the new tools comes on Holocaust Remembrance Day, which marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945. On this day, the United Nations urges member states to honor the millions of people killed in the Holocaust, a genocide of European Jews before and during World War II.

The move also comes after advocacy groups criticized TikTok for not doing enough to combat antisemitism and misinformation on its platform. In June, the Anti-Defamation League found that antisemitic content continues to spread on TikTok. Jewish creators have also had their content mistakenly flagged or pulled down for hateful behavior, NBC reported last year. In 2020, some TikTok users dressed up as dead Holocaust victims, a trend criticized by the Auschwitz Museum as “hurtful and offensive.”

TikTok said it “condemns antisemitism in all its forms” and uses technology and human moderators to take down antisemitic content and accounts, including ones that post Holocaust denial content or any other form of hate speech directed at Jewish people.

Users will also be able to find content on TikTok’s Discover page from creators who are sharing educational content about the Holocaust and antisemitism.

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