More than a dozen Jewish TikTok creators and celebrities confronted TikTok executives in a private meeting on Wednesday night to address a surge of antisemitism and harassment. The meeting included stars like Sacha Baron Cohen, Debra Messing, and Amy Schumer, and was led by Adam Presser, TikTok’s head of operations, and Seth Melnick, its global head of user operations. The famous TikTok creators described the flood of comments like “Hitler was right” or “I hope you end up like Anne Frank” under their videos. Mr. Cohen accused TikTok of creating “the biggest antisemitic movement since the Nazis.”
Antisemitic and Islamophobic hate speech has been on the increase on social media since the Israel-Hamas war began. TikTok, in particular, has been criticized for promoting pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel content. While TikTok said that it recognizes the difficult time and is meeting with creators, one TikTok user criticized the platform for allowing hate speech to flourish. Another user, Miriam Ezagui, said some popular features on the site were being used to send waves of hatred her way. Mr. Presser responded by saying that the company could do better.
During the meeting, Ms. Messing criticized TikTok’s moderation of the pro-Palestinian slogan “from the river to the sea,” which has been deemed antisemitic by the Anti-Defamation League. TikTok said they leave the phrase up to interpretation by their moderators.
The creators also asked why they couldn’t reach individuals at TikTok for help. The executives admitted that this was a big problem and said they were reorganizing their teams to provide better support for creators.
In conclusion, Mr. Presser said, “A lot of [the feedback], honestly I am embarrassed to say, is new. I haven’t heard a lot of it.”