TikTok Joins Forces with UN, WJC to Tackle Holocaust Denial Online
Users searching for terms relating to the Holocaust will be redirected to verified information.
"Denying, distorting or trivializing the true facts of the Holocaust is a pernicious form of contemporary antisemitism. We welcome TikTok’s commitment to act with UNESCO and the WJC. All online platforms must take responsibility for the spread of hate speech by promoting reliable sources of information," UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said in a press release on Thursday.
The circulation of false information about the Holocaust is a growing problem online, and not all platforms are taking effective action to curb this harmful trend.
The Centre for Countering Digital Hate said in August last year, 84% of antisemitic content reported to social media companies was allowed to remain on their platforms.
According to UN and UNESCO data, 17% of content related to the Holocaust on TikTok either denied or distorted the Holocaust.
Faced with this problem, the platform has decided to act, by drawing on the expertise of UNESCO and the WJC.
"We believe education plays a critical role in striking out hate, which is why we're proud to partner with the World Jewish Congress and UNESCO to help people learn about the Holocaust and understand their role in fighting modern-day antisemitism. Hateful behaviour is incompatible with TikTok's inclusive environment, and we'll continue to put our full strength behind keeping our platform a place that is free of hate, while harnessing the power of TikTok to educate our community," Liz Kanter, Director, Government Relations, UK, Ireland & Israel - TikTok, said.
Disinformation about the Holocaust and antisemitic conspiracy theories have spiked dramatically on social media platforms since the outbreak of COVID-19. Widespread and growing ignorance of the history of the Holocaust fuels the problem. A 2020 study reported that 41% of American young adults believe that two million or fewer, rather than 6 million Jews were killed. In France, 69% among Millennial and Gen Z respondents did not know the correct figure, and in Austria 58% respondents in the same age bracket did not know it.
One year ago, UNESCO and the WJC signed a similar partnership with Facebook. Since then, AboutHolocaust.org has been accessed nearly 400,000 times from more than 100 countries.
"The World Jewish Congress is proud to partner with UNESCO and TikTok in making factual and reliable information about the Holocaust available to 1 billion monthly users. TikTok is known for its ability to reach a younger audience, many of them uninformed about the horrors of the Holocaust and particularly susceptible to misinformation. We welcome the platform taking responsibility and leveraging its reach to stop the spread of antisemitism and Holocaust denial," Ronald S. Lauder, World Jewish Congress President, said.
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