TikTok Outlaws Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories In Crack Down On ‘Hurtful Stereotypes’
Tech giant is also to stop the promotion of gay conversion therapy.
TikTok is to crack down on anti-Semitic conspiracy theories published on its platform in the latest move by tech giants to outlaw hate speech.
The video streaming app, which boasts hundreds of millions of users worldwide, said it was targetting “misinformation about notable Jewish individuals and families who are used as proxies to spread anti-Semitism”.
It s also to stop the promotion of gay conversion therapy as it takes steps to “remove misinformation and hurtful stereotypes”.
TikTok is widely used by young LGBTQ+ people to share stories about traumatic experiences such as being forced into conversion therapy.
Earlier this week, TikTok announced it is toughening its stance against the QAnon conspiracy theory.
It comes after Facebook updated its policies to ban content that “denies or distorts the Holocaust” – more than two years after Mark Zuckerberg suggested such posts were allowed in the name of freedom of speech.
In a company blogpost, TikTok said: “As many monitoring organisations are reporting that anti-Semitic sentiment is increasing in the world, we’re proud that we have already taken steps to keep our community safe, for example, by not permitting content that denies the Holocaust and other violent tragedies.
“We know there’s always more we can do which is why we are taking further action to remove misinformation and hurtful stereotypes about Jewish, Muslim and other communities.
“This includes misinformation about notable Jewish individuals and families who are used as proxies to spread anti-Semitism. We’re also removing content that is hurtful to the LGBTQ+ community by removing hateful ideas, including content that promotes conversion therapy and the idea that no one is born LGBTQ+.”
It added its enforcement teams are being trained to better understand “more nuanced content like cultural appropriation and slurs”.
It continued: “If a member of a disenfranchised group, such as the LGBTQ+, Black, Jewish, Roma and minority ethnic communities, uses a word as a term of empowerment, we want our enforcement teams to understand the context behind it and not mistakenly take the content down.
“On the other hand, if a slur is being used hatefully, it doesn’t belong on TikTok. Educating our enforcement teams on these crucial distinctions is ongoing work, and we strive to get this right for our community.”
Mark Gardner, chief executive of CST, which fights anti-Semitism, 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.”
Danny Stone, chief executive of the Antisemitism Policy Trust, said: “TikTok has a large, and growing audience and an equally big responsibility that those using its platform not be served up hate materials.
“We are therefore pleased that the company is seeking to deepen its understanding and broaden its policies against anti-Semitism and other forms of racism and welcome the changes being announced today.”