November 30, 2023

Jewish Celebrities Decry Antisemitism on TikTok

A group of Jewish celebrities and TikTok creators held a private video call with the platform’s executives and employees to address the issue of antisemitism on the social media app. The meeting, which lasted for approximately 90 minutes and included more than 30 participants, took place amidst a reported increase in antisemitic incidents following the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Jewish actors Sacha Baron Cohen, Debra Messing, and Amy Schumer, as well as TikTok creator Miriam Ezagui, were among the participants.

During the call, Cohen compared the situation on TikTok to “the biggest antisemitic movement since the Nazis” and urged the platform to take stronger action against hate speech. Messing also expressed her concerns, stating that TikTok is the main platform for the dissemination of antisemitism. The call was arranged by TikTok executives in response to an open letter signed by several Jewish celebrities and influencers, calling for the platform to enhance its safety tools and address the issue of rampant antisemitism.

TikTok’s head of operations, Adam Presser, acknowledged the challenges raised during the meeting and stated that the platform is committed to listening to the experiences and feedback of its creators. However, he also mentioned that there is no “magic button” to address all the concerns raised.

Despite the platform’s efforts to address the issue, criticism has continued as TikTok users recently posted videos recommending a letter written by Osama bin Laden that justifies the September 11 terror attacks and includes antisemitic statements. While TikTok has banned videos promoting the letter, the incident has sparked renewed concerns about the platform’s ability to combat hate speech effectively.