Jewish comedian Sacha Baron Cohen on Thursday (US time) accused TikTok of creating “the biggest antisemitic movement since the Nazis.
During a virtual discussion, Cohen criticised the executives of TikTok as the social media platform is flooded with people who are praising Osama bin Laden and justifying the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.
The meeting was conducted on video call for about 90 minutes and was attended by more than 30 people, including Debra Messing and Amy Schumer. TikTok’s head of operations, Adam Presser and global head of user operations Seth Melnick, led the meeting.
According to a recording of the meeting obtained by The New York Times, the executives said they wanted to know more about what the creators were experiencing to improve the app.
Cohen, who does not appear to have an account on the social media site, said, “What is happening at TikTok is, it is creating the biggest antisemitic movement since the Nazis.”
“If you think back to October 7, the reason why Hamas were able to behead young people and rape women was they were fed images when they were small kids that led them to hate,” he added.
The Jewish comedian further told the TikTok executives that they could simply “flip a switch” to fix antisemitism on the platform, which the meeting was told included people saying “Hitler was right” and “I hope you end up like Anne Frank.”
“Shame on you,” he added.
The virtual confrontation came after many many of the same group sent an open letter to TikTok, expressing concern about Jewish users facing hate on the platform.
American actress Debra Messing — who has more than 37,000 followers on the platform — also used the opportunity to press executives at TikTok to ban the pro-Palestinian phrase “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” which many view as a call for the eradication of Israel.
“Simply put, TikTok lacks critical safety features to protect Jewish content creators and the broader Jewish TikTok community, leaving us in digital and physical danger,” reads the letter signed by Messing and American comedian and actress Amy Schumer.
“Sadly, rampant antisemitism is a common problem that TikTok has failed to address for far too long.”
“The daily reality for Jewish content creators on TikTok includes death threats, endless threatening comments on posts (many just for being Jewish) and a barrage of harassment in all forms of TikTok-facilitated interaction,” the letter read.
OSAMA’S LETTER TO AMERICANS GOES VIRAL
TikTokers have discovered the ‘Letter to the American People’, 21 years after it was first published, and, shockingly, seem to agree with the long-dead, dreaded terrorist.
With thousands of TikTok users creating and sharing their clips in a single day, the Osama letter videos have now gone viral across all social media platforms.
People called it “TikTok PsyOp tsunami” and expressed how aghast they were that Gen Z was “praising a manifesto” that justified killing of civilians.
On Thursday (US time), several influential Americans demanded a ban on TikTok in the US. Facing backlash, the Chinese video-sharing app started removing videos on Osama’s letter.
The letter by the Al-Qaida chief, Osama bin Laden, was written after the 2001 attacks, the worst terror attack on US soil. It tries to justify the monsterous 9/11 attacks and links them, among other things, to “…support to the oppressive Israelis in their occupation of our Palestine”.
That seems to be the reason why Osama’s letter resurfaced and went viral.
However, a day after videos praising slain Al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden’s ‘letter to Americans’ flooded social media platforms, TikTok started removing the videos and disabled the hashtag ‘lettertoamerica’ from its search.
The Chinese video-sharing platform acted after it faced massive backlash and calls for it to be banned in the US.