Shou Chew, the CEO of TikTok, has personally gotten involved in addressing concerns about the platform fueling anti-Israel and antisemitic rhetoric amid the Israel-Hamas war. He has met with Jewish groups and leaders, emphasizing that he is there to listen and seeking to explain how the company moderates misinformation and hate speech. TikTok has also hired more Arabic- and Hebrew-speaking moderators and is working with Jewish and Muslim groups to identify instances of antisemitism and Islamophobia. TikTok has pushed back on claims that it disproportionately promotes pro-Palestinian content and has been removing millions of videos for breaking its content rules.
The company has added new messages to search results and hashtags related to the Israel-Hamas war, guiding users to seek authoritative sources for news and consider the impact of their words. Mr. Chew has engaged with Jewish business leaders about their concerns regarding content on the platform and has been personally involved in addressing these issues. Nevertheless, some lawmakers have renewed calls to regulate TikTok due to concerns about how it handles content related to the conflict.
Some participants have expressed gratitude for Mr. Chew’s engagement, while others remain frustrated. They have taken their concerns to lawmakers and have called on social media companies to release detailed reports about how they handle content that violates their policies. TikTok faces scrutiny about its algorithmic capabilities and categorization of misinformation regarding the Israel-Hamas war. Mr. Goldstein of UJA has urged TikTok to put more resources into fighting misinformation and blocking content with antisemitic hashtags, hoping that the platform will lead the way in addressing these issues.