ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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Report: Jewish TikTok staff reveal rampant antisemitism, Israel-hate in workplace

Employees for video platform say colleagues openly express Jew-hatred on internal chat, moderators allow antisemitic, anti-Israel misinformation to roam free on app since Oct. 7

Michael Horovitz is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel

The social media application logo TikTok is displayed on the screen of an iPhone, in Arlington, Virginia, April 13, 2020. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP)
The social media application logo TikTok is displayed on the screen of an iPhone, in Arlington, Virginia, April 13, 2020. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP)

Jewish employees of TikTok have spoken out against an increasingly toxic work environment since Hamas’s October 7 massacre, and the company’s lack of efforts to combat antisemitism on the video social media platform.

Unnamed workers told Fox Business Thursday that colleagues have freely expressed antisemitic and anti-Israel views on Lark, their internal chat system, and noted that the company’s 40,000 moderators have allowed anti-Israel and antisemitic misinformation to run rampant on TikTok.

“Going into the office these days is very stressful,” a Jewish employee told the network. “If you go in then you don’t speak to anyone else about being from Israel or having any connection to Israel.”

After the war, the company will “not likely retain many of its Jewish employees,” the employee said, as Jewish staff are ashamed to say they work for the company.

According to those interviewed, a support group on Lark for Palestinians was created, but no such option was provided to those with connections to Israel because it was “too political,” the report said.

It added that employees were told to use an existing Jewish support group offered by the firm, MazalTok; Hamas also slaughtered many non-Jews on October 7.

File: A Palestinian stands on a burning tank in the city of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip after some 3,000 Hamas terrorists destroyed the border fence and entered Israel. October 7, 2023. (Yousef Mohammed/Flash90)

According to screenshots viewed by Fox Business, moderators have openly promoted the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement within the company, celebrated Hamas’s onslaught and used the watermelon emoji — which has the colors of the Palestinian flag — as their profile picture.

Another Jewish member of staff said that the company “no longer has any control over the 40,000 moderators working to fact-check and remove content that is inflammatory, inciting and simply incorrect.”

Jewish employees questioned who oversees moderators, and how the company decides what is “misinformation versus opinion versus fact.”

One of those interviewed said that “content moderation is just one part of the problem,” but added that “those setting the policy that directs those moderators often shy away from even branding violent Palestinian groups as such.”

“The teams dealing with policy at TikTok have always been overwhelmingly staffed with individuals who are openly hostile to Israel and whose opinions often blur the lines on antisemitism,” the source said.

An example of this “is the permissible posting of anything violent or gory relating to issues sympathetic to Palestinians. But when videos depicting evidence of atrocities against Jews are removed before the world can see them, we then feel that the world’s most popular media platform is working against us as a people,” the employee said.

TikTok has said it has removed over 1 million videos that violated its content rules, in addition to 1.6 million videos with hateful content, including antisemitism, between October 7 and November 17.

The area of ​​the Supernova festival where hundreds of Israelis were killed and kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in the October 7 terror onslaught, October 12, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

A spokesperson for the company told Fox Business that the claims made “do not reflect the experience of the majority of our employees” and touted TikTok’s “strong policies against discrimination and harassment in the workplace.”

“Every incident is investigated by the appropriate internal team,” the official claimed. “Our CEO sent a message to all employees denouncing the attacks of October 7, and the company published a statement on our website as well.”

The spokesperson said that MazalTok offers “resources and a community for our Jewish and Israeli employees that has doubled in size since the start of the war.”

The official stated that “hateful ideologies, including antisemitism, are not and have never been allowed on our platform.”

Criticism of the platform has flared over its inability to combat hateful and antisemitic content since war broke out on October 7, when Hamas terrorists rampaged through southern communities, murdering some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapping some 240 to Gaza.

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