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  • Matthew Broersma

TikTok Details Actions Against Middle East Misinformation


TikTok says ‘immediately’ deployed resources to counter misinformation as EU warns ‘gatekeepers’ under Digital Services Act


Social media platform TikTok said it immediately deployed resources and personnel to counter misinformation about the Middle East conflict after being asked to detail its response by the European Union. EU industry commissioner Thierry Breton gave TikTok 24 hours on Friday to recount what actions it had taken to counter disinformation following the Hamas attack on Israel. Breton also delivered similar warnings to X, formerly Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook and Instagram parent Meta, with the same 24-hour deadline. The actions were taken under the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), introduced in August, which places additional obligations on the biggest online platforms to remove illegal content and show the measures they have take to do so when requested.

TikTok chief executive Shou Zi Chew. Image credit: TikTok

Digital Services Act


TikTok said it had removed “violative content and accounts”.


“We immediately mobilised significant resources and personnel to help maintain the safety of our community and integrity of our platform,” the company said in a Sunday statement.


In a Friday letter to the company Breton said TikTok needed to be mindful of its popularity with young people and should “protect children and teenagers from violent content and terrorist propaganda as well as death challenges and potentially life-threatening content”.


On its website TikTok listed actions it had taken to combat disinformation and hateful content.


‘Zero tolerance’


The company said it had created a command centre, improved 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,” the company stated.


“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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