Monday, March 4, 2024

Shou Chew, TikTok’s chief executive, has been personally addressing concerns about the app fueling anti-Israel and antisemitic rhetoric during the Israel-Hamas war, signaling the seriousness with which the company is taking the criticism.

In recent weeks, Mr. Chew, who resides in Singapore, has met with numerous prominent Jewish groups and leaders in New York and on video calls, facilitated by TikTok.

The meetings included organizations such as the American Jewish Committee, UJA-Federation of New York, and the Anti-Defamation League, with Mr. Chew also participating in a call with Jewish tech and business leaders.

During these meetings, Mr. Chew emphasized his intention to listen and explained how the company managed misinformation and hate speech, according to sources who attended the meetings.

Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, TikTok has faced criticism for spreading misinformation, graphic footage, and hate speech, leading lawmakers to renew calls to ban or regulate the platform. The app’s ownership by a Chinese company and its influence as a news source for young Americans have also drawn added scrutiny.

The company has pushed back on allegations of promoting pro-Palestinian content and instead highlighted its efforts to fight antisemitism on the platform.

TikTok also revealed that since the conflict broke out, it had hired more moderators and was collaborating with Jewish and Muslim groups to identify instances of antisemitism and Islamophobia on the platform.

Amid these developments, Mr. Chew personally engaged with Jewish business leaders, although some participants remain frustrated with the platform, with some pushing for legislative action against TikTok.

Following the involvement of Mr. Chew, UJA urged TikTok to allocate more resources to combat misinformation and block content with antisemitic hashtags.

The company has long maintained that it does not permit any government to influence or alter its recommendations to users.

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