Content moderators of the popular social media app TikTok had to remove 688,579 videos from the platform in the third quarter of 2022 alone, Spokespersons of the Knesset's Committee on Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora announced on Monday.
Of the videos that were removed - 80.1% were removed before even viewing the entire video, while 89.8% were removed within 24 hours.
According to TikTok, the company received 2,713 requests from various governments around the world to remove or limit content or accounts in the third quarter of 2022. TikTok removed 110,954,663 videos uploaded to the platform worldwide during this time – roughly 1% of all videos uploaded to Tiktok.
2% of the videos removed worldwide were deleted due to hateful content – while the amount of videos removed in Israel for falling under TikTok’s hateful content guidelines is unclear.
In Israel, 252 official requests were submitted on behalf of the Israeli government to remove content from the social network Tiktok - this figure represents 9.2% of the total number of requests to Tiktok worldwide. For comparison, in the USA the government submitted only 13 applications, in Canada 5 applications, France 27, the United Kingdom 71 and in Germany 167 applications were submitted on behalf of the government.
The Israeli government is one of the leading governments in the world in asking TikTok to remove content from its social network, TikTok explained.
Addressing online antisemitism
Representatives of the social network participated in a meeting of The Inclusive Aliyah and Diaspora Committee amid the release of the disturbing information. MK Oded Forer, Chairman of the Aliyah, Absorption and Diaspora Committee, and World Zionist Organization Chairman Yaakov Hagoel also attended the meeting, in which they try to understand how to deal with antisemitic discourse in the digital space.
"The incitement on social media is a problem that needs to be dealt with in-depth,” said Forer. “Following the incitement on social media, many Jews around the world choose to hide their religious symbols in their clothing in order not to be exposed to antisemitic revelations and attacks on the street."
"Since the damned holocaust, there have not been years of an increase in anti-Semitism events like the last decade,” declared Hagoel. “Today, when you type ‘Jew’ into Google, you get 10 top results of antisemitic websites that incite against Jews. The web is full of anti-Semitic messages and we have gotten used to it.”
Forer further highlighted the impact that seemingly-innocuous social media content could have on real-life violence. “My heart is broken in the face of the wave of terrorism that is raising its head and it is clear to everyone that the extreme discourse on social networks increases and encourages acts of terrorism against Jews. I am asking the World Zionist Organization to submit a report to the committee on the treatment and the increase in antisemitic incidents on social networks.”
“The general public must raise its head with Jewish pride and fight for every demonstration of antisemitism on the street and in cyberspace,” Hagoel concluded.