(VINnews) — Multiple Jewish celebrities held a long, passionate call with TikTok execs, urging them to do more to address antisemitic content on their platform, a TikTok spokesperson confirmed Friday.Join our WhatsApp group
In fact, one top Jewish Tiktok executive admitted that the celebrities are correct and antisemitism is a problem on the platform–yet he seemed to downplay and even defend the phrase “From the river to the sea…”, according to the NY Times.
The call reportedly had more than 30 people, including popular celebrities-, such as Sacha Baron Cohen, Debra Messing and Amy Schumer.
The call followed an open letter from Jewish social media influencers to TikTok, arguing that it is “not doing enough” to combat antisemitism and online hatred, saying bluntly: “Your platform is not safe for Jewish users.”
“What is happening at TikTok is it is creating the biggest antisemitic movement since the Nazis,” Cohen said on the call, according to a video. “Shame on you.” The famed comedian added that the service could “flip a switch” to silence such videos, and noted, “If you think back to Oct. 7, the reason why Hamas were able to behead young people…was they were fed images from when they were small kids that led them to hate.”
The TikTok executives appeared to agree that more should be done, but stressed there is not a simple or fast solution.
Adam Presser, the Jewish head of operations who led the call, admitted, “Obviously a lot of what Sacha says, there’s truth to that,” though he also said there wasn’t a “magic button” that would fix all the issues.
Messing questioned the executives on how TikTok is moderating the antisemitic Hamas slogan “from the river to the sea,” according to the Times. Presser seemed to defend the phrase and said that it was a matter of interpretation and the phrase was being used “casually,” at which point Messing pushed back.
Presser told those present that TikTok has left interpretation of the phrase up to TikTok’s moderators based on how it is used.
“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. Our approach up until 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,” Presser said.
“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,’” Messing said at one point. “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 has deleted a recent viral video of a teen reading bin Laden’s 2002 “Letter to America,” which, sickeningly, attempts to justify the 9/11 terror attack, one of the most evil moments in world history.
“We recognize this is an incredibly difficult and fearful time for millions of people around the world and in our TikTok community,” the company said. “Our leadership has been meeting with creators, civil society, human rights experts and stakeholders to listen to their experiences and feedback on how TikTok can remain a place for community, discovery and sharing authentically.”