‘Widespread’ Anti-Semitism on TikTok and Instagram Fuels ‘New Generation’ of Hate

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Young people are exposed to ‘widespread’ anti-Semitic content on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, according to a report which warned that ‘a new generation’ was being introduced to racist ideas that it would not have encountered offline.

Campaign group Hope Not Hate said they found the use of anti-Semitic tropes and conspiracy theories increased dramatically online during the pandemic, including on Reddit.

Researchers said there were “millions” of hashtag results linked to harmful material, including on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok.

The report’s authors said three anti-Semitic hashtags were viewed more than 25 million times on TikTok in six months.

Although Telegram, Parler and 4chan contain the most extreme anti-Semitism, Hope Not Hate warned that millions of young people are seeing similar content on the most popular social media channels.

About 70% of Instagram users are under 34, while 69% of TikTok users are between 16 and 24, the organization noted.

Joe Mulhall, of Hope Not Hate, said social media allowed anti-Semitism to “flourish with tragic and lasting effects.”

“It is simply astonishing that despite 10 years of attempts to stamp out hate speech, we were able to find anti-Semitism on all the social media platforms we investigated,” he said. .

“As social media companies struggle to pull themselves together, a new generation of social media users have been introduced to anti-Semitic ideas they likely wouldn’t encounter elsewhere.”

He added that “enough is enough”, and stressed that the tech industry has a duty to ban all forms of anti-Semitism.

Responding to the report, a spokesperson for TikTok said the platform condemned anti-Semitism and was working “aggressively to combat hate” by removing accounts and content.

“We will continue to strengthen our tools for combating anti-Semitic content,” they added.

A spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said: “Anti-Semitism is totally unacceptable and we don’t allow it anywhere on Instagram.

“We have always suppressed attacks against people because of their religion, and last year we made important updates to our policies, to remove any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust, as well as more implicit hate speech, such as harmful stereotypes that Jewish people control the world.

“We will continue to work with partners like Hope Not Hate, while developing new ways to remove hateful content and block harmful hashtags faster.”

German and Swedish anti-hate groups, the Amadeu Antonio Foundation and the Expo Foundation, have supported Hope Not Hate in the research.

Its publication came shortly after it emerged that hate crimes in the UK had reached an all-time high.

Over 124,000 hate crimes were recorded in England and Wales in the 12 months to March, 9% more than the previous record set the year before.

Additional reports by the PA


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