TikTok Details Action Taken Against Misinformation On Israel-Hamas Conflict

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TikTok has said it “immediately” took action to counter misinformation after the EU warned the platform following the attack by Hamas on Israel. The EU called on TikTok boss Shou Zi Chew to “urgently step up” efforts, and “spell out” within 24 hours how it was complying with European law on Friday. TikTok said it had removed “ volatile content and accounts. We immediately mobilized significant resources and personnel to help maintain the safety of our community and integrity of our platform,” the company said in a statement on Sunday.

Social media firms have seen a surge of misinformation about the conflict like doctored images and mislabeled videos. In a letter to the company on Friday, EU commissioner Thierry Breton warned that TikTok needed to be mindful of its popularity with young people and “protect children and teenagers from violent content and terrorist propaganda as well as death challenges and potentially life-threatening content.”

The bloc also handed X, YouTube, and Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, similar warnings about misinformation, along with a 24-hour deadline.

TikTok, which is owned by Chinese firm ByteDance, listed actions it said it had taken on its website to combat misinformation and hateful content. It said it had created a command centre, enhanced its automated detection systems to remove graphic and violent content, and added more moderators who speak Arabic and Hebrew.

“We do not tolerate attempts to incite violence or spread hateful ideologies,” TikTok said. “We have a zero-tolerance policy for content praising violent and hateful organisations and individuals, and those organisations and individuals aren’t allowed on our platform. TikTok stands against terrorism. We are shocked and appalled by the horrific acts of terror in Israel last week. We are also deeply saddened by the intensifying humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza.”

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