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TikTok to direct users to reliable information about Holocaust

In new feature, a banner will pop up when users search for Holocaust-related terms and lead them to website run by World Jewish Congress and UNESCO

Illustrative: An iPhone loaded with TikTok and other social media application icons. (Wachiwit/iStock)
Illustrative: An iPhone loaded with TikTok and other social media application icons. (Wachiwit/iStock)

JTA — TikTok announced a raft of new features intended to reduce the spread of misinformation about the Holocaust shared on the platform and to direct users to trustworthy sources about the subject.

Beginning Thursday, a banner will pop up when users search for Holocaust-related terms and direct them to aboutholocaust.org, a website run by the World Jewish Congress and UNESCO to offer information about Holocaust history. A link to the website will also pop up for users viewing hashtags related to the Holocaust like #Holocaust and #HolocaustSurvivor.

The new features were announced on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which is marked on the day that Auschwitz was liberated. The social media platform, which features short videos, has pledged to crack down on hate speech shared on the platform in the past and has worked with the Anti-Defamation League to develop protocols for determining hate speech.

“Hateful behavior of any kind is incompatible with our values and the inclusive environment we are building at TikTok. We condemn antisemitism in all its forms and deploy a combination of technologies and moderation teams to remove antisemitic content and accounts from our platform, including Holocaust denial or any other form of hate speech directed at the Jewish community,” the company said in an announcement.

TikTok and other social media platforms have long been criticized for allowing Holocaust denial and antisemitism to spread unchecked on their platforms. Some Jewish content creators have also complained about being banned or censored from the platform for posting videos that educate about Judaism or antisemitism by algorithms that can’t tell the difference between actual antisemitism and education meant to prevent it.

TikTok in particular has been criticized for allowing the spread of misinformation about the Holocaust because the platform is used predominantly by young people.

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