Connect with us

RSS

Jewish Celebrities, Influencers Tell TikTok Executives in Private Video Call ‘Shame On You’

TikTok app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

More than a dozen Jewish TikTok influencers and celebrities addressed the uptick in antisemitic harassment on the short-form video app during a private video call with TikTok executives on Wednesday night, according to a new report.

The New York Times obtained a recording of the meeting, which had more than 30 people in attendance — including actors Sacha Baron Cohen, Debra Messing, and Amy Schumer. The call was led by Adam Presser, TikTok’s head of operations, and Seth Melnick, the social media platform’s global head of user operations — both of whom are Jewish.

“Shame on you,” Cohen told Presser during the call. “What is happening at TikTok is it is creating the biggest antisemitic movement since the Nazis. If you think back to Oct. 7, the reason why Hamas were able to behead young people and rape women was they were fed images from when they were small kids that led them to hate.” He shamed TikTok for allowing similar inflammatory content, as well as misinformation, to spread on the platform.

“Obviously a lot of what Sacha says, there’s truth to that,” Presser replied, referring to Cohen’s comments about social media companies needing to take more action against antisemitism.

TikTok hosted the meeting on Wednesday in response to an open letter that more than 40 Jewish social media influencers and celebrities recently sent the app. They wrote in the letter that the platform is not safe for Jewish users, and that executives are “not doing enough” to curtail antisemitism and online hatred on TikTok.

Several members of Congress have also called for TikTok to be banned in the US, saying that the app, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, could allow the Chinese government to obtain data from Americans and influence the content promoted by TikTok’s algorithm. Lawmakers also argued that the platform is advancing anti-Israel content online amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

TikTok announced on Thursday that it will prohibit content promoting the “Letter to America” written by the late al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in 2002 that started going viral on TikTok this week. The letter — in which Bin Laden justified the killing of Americans and expressed hatred of Jewish people and Israel — has garnered support among some social media users and was one of the issues raised during Wednesday’s video call.

The influencers and celebrities urged TikTok to take more steps against antisemitism on the platform and described the failure by TikTok’s tools to prevent antisemitic comments — such as “Hitler was right” or “I hope you end up like [Holocaust victim] Anne Frank — on posts uploaded by Jewish users.

Messing urged TikTok to moderate the usage of “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a pro-Palestinian slogan that is widely interpreted as a call to eradicate Israel and replace it with “Palestine.” But Presser said if the phrase is used “casually,” TikTok’s 40,000 moderators will allow it.

“Where it is clear exactly what they mean — ‘kill the Jews, eradicate the state of Israel’ — that content is violative and we take it down,” he said on the call, according to The New York Times. “Our approach up until [Hamas’ massacre of Israelis on] Oct. 7, continuing to today, has been that for instances where people use the phrase where it’s not clear, where someone is just using it casually, then that has been considered acceptable speech.”

Messing fired back, saying, “It is much more responsible to bar it at this juncture than to say, ‘Oh, well, some people, they use it in a different way than it actually was created to mean.’ I understand that you are in a very, very difficult and complicated place, but you also are the main platform for the dissemination of Jew hate.”

TikTok said in a statement that it does not allow content with the slogan “when it’s used in a way that threatens violence and spreads hate.”

Other issues raised during the call included concerns about TikTok’s editing tools being used to create content targeting Jewish users and complaints about Jewish users not being able to directly contact a TikTok team member for help with harassment, or having to wait several days for a response.

“To hear that this place, this platform, this community that has brought you so much joy and helps each of you as individuals is becoming a place that feels like somewhere that you’re not sure you want to spend time on, I mean, that’s devastating,” Presser said. “This is where we get the feedback, this is where we hear what isn’t working. A lot of it, honestly I am embarrassed to say, is new. I haven’t heard a lot of it.”

The post Jewish Celebrities, Influencers Tell TikTok Executives in Private Video Call ‘Shame On You’ first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

RSS

Israeli Official: ‘Important Operation’ in Yemen Sends Strong Message to Shiite Axis

Drones are seen at a site at an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on April 20, 2023. Photo: Iranian Army/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS

i24 NewsA senior Israeli security official spoke to i24NEWS on Saturday on condition of the retaliatory strike carried out by the Israel Air Force against the Houthi jihadists in Yemen.

“This is an important operation which signals that there’s room for further escalation, and sends a very strong message to the entire Shiite axis.”

“We understood there is a high probability of counter attacks, but if we do not respond, the meaning is even worse. Israel has updated the US prior to the operation.”

The strike on Hodeida came after long-range Iranian-made drone hit a building in central Tel Aviv, killing one man and wounded several others.

The post Israeli Official: ‘Important Operation’ in Yemen Sends Strong Message to Shiite Axis first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

RSS

IDF Confirms Striking ‘Terrorist Houthi Regime’ in Yemen’s Hodeida

Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi addresses followers via a video link at the al-Shaab Mosque, formerly al-Saleh Mosque, in Sanaa, Yemen, Feb. 6, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

i24 NewsThe Israeli military on Saturday confirmed striking a port in Yemen controlled by the Houthi jihadists, a day after the Iranian proxy group perpetrated a deadly drone attack on Tel Aviv.

“A short while ago, IDF fighter jets struck military targets of the Houthi terrorist regime in the area of the Al Hudaydah Port in Yemen in response to the hundreds of attacks carried out against the State of Israel in recent months.”

After Houthi drone attack on Tel Aviv, reports and footage out of Yemen of air strikes hitting Hodeida

— Video used in accordance with clause 27A of Israeli copyright law pic.twitter.com/d2uE16ZzQ1

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 20, 2024

Yoav Gallant, the defense minister, issued a statement saying “The fire that is currently burning in Hodeidah, is seen across the Middle East and the significance is clear. The Houthis attacked us over 200 times. The first time that they harmed an Israeli citizen, we struck them. And we will do this in any place where it may be required.”

“The blood of Israeli citizens has a price,” Gallant added. “This has been made clear in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Yemen, and in other places – if they will dare to attack us, the result will be identical.”

Gallant: ‘The fire currently burning in Hodeida is seen across the region and the significance is clear… The blood of Israeli citizens has a price, as has been made clear in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Yemen and in other places – if they dare attack us, the result will be identical.’ pic.twitter.com/DmHjwfHtPV

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 20, 2024

The post IDF Confirms Striking ‘Terrorist Houthi Regime’ in Yemen’s Hodeida first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

RSS

One Part of Cyprus Mourns, the Other Rejoices 50 Years After Split

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan leaves after attending a military parade to mark the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus in response to a short-lived Greek-inspired coup, in the Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus, in the divided city of Nicosia, Cyprus July 20, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

Greek Cypriots mourned and Turkish Cypriots rejoiced on Saturday, the 50th anniversary of Turkey’s invasion of part of the island after a brief Greek inspired coup, with the chances of reconciliation as elusive as ever.

The ethnically split island is a persistent source of tension between Greece and Turkey, which are both partners in NATO but are at odds over numerous issues.

Their differences were laid bare on Saturday, with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attending a celebratory military parade in north Nicosia to mark the day in 1974 when Turkish forces launched an offensive that they call a “peace operation.”

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was due later on Saturday to attend an event in the south of the Nicosia to commemorate what Greeks commonly refer to as the “barbaric Turkish invasion.” Air raid sirens sounded across the area at dawn.

Mitsotakis posted an image of a blood-stained map of Cyprus on his LinkedIn page with the words “Half a century since the national tragedy of Cyprus.”

There was jubilation in the north.

“The Cyprus Peace Operation saved Turkish Cypriots from cruelty and brought them to freedom,” Erdogan told crowds who gathered to watch the parade despite stifling midday heat, criticizing the south for having a “spoiled mentality” and seeing itself as the sole ruler of Cyprus.

Peace talks are stalled at two seemingly irreconcilable concepts – Greek Cypriots want reunification as a federation. Turkish Cypriots want a two-state settlement.

Erdogan left open a window to dialogue although he said a federal solution, advocated by Greek Cypriots and backed by most in the international community, was “not possible.”

“We are ready for negotiations, to meet, and to establish long-term peace and resolution in Cyprus,” he said.

Cyprus gained independence from Britain in 1960, but a shared administration between Greek and Turkish Cypriots quickly fell apart in violence that saw Turkish Cypriots withdraw into enclaves and led to the dispatch of a U.N. peacekeeping force.

The crisis left Greek Cypriots running the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, a member of the European Union since 2004 with the potential to derail Turkey’s own decades-long aspirations of joining the bloc.

It also complicates any attempts to unlock energy potential in the eastern Mediterranean because of overlapping claims. The region has seen major discoveries of hydrocarbons in recent years.

REMEMBERING THE DEAD

Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides, whose office represents the Greek Cypriot community in the reunification dialogue, said the anniversary was a somber occasion for reflection and for remembering the dead.

“Our mission is liberation, reunification and solving the Cyprus problem,” he said. “If we really want to send a message on this tragic anniversary … it is to do anything possible to reunite Cyprus.”

Turkey, he said, continued to be responsible for violating human rights and international law over Cyprus.

Across the south, church services were held to remember the more than 3,000 people who died in the Turkish invasion.

“It was a betrayal of Cyprus and so many kids were lost. It wasn’t just my son, it was many,” said Loukas Alexandrou, 90, as he tended the grave of his son at a military cemetery.

In Turkey, state television focused on violence against Turkish Cypriots prior to the invasion, particularly on bloodshed in 1963-64 and in 1967.

Turkey’s invasion took more than a third of the island and expelled more than 160,000 Greek Cypriots to the south.

Reunification talks collapsed in 2017 and have been at a stalemate since. Northern Cyprus is a breakaway state recognized only by Turkey, and its Turkish Cypriot leadership wants international recognition.

The post One Part of Cyprus Mourns, the Other Rejoices 50 Years After Split first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2017 - 2023 Jewish Post & News