As the Israel-Hamas conflict persists, the scrutiny on social media platforms has intensified regarding their role in perpetuating both facts and misinformation. EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton has called upon X, Meta, and more recently, TikTok, seeking transparency in their efforts to protect young users.

Breton reached out to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew on October 12, highlighting the app’s responsibility in shielding children and teenagers from violent and terrorist content, as well as potentially life-threatening challenges. In response, TikTok has released a statement outlining its ongoing commitment to safeguarding the TikTok community while upholding transparency and free expression.

Amid the ongoing crisis, TikTok has implemented several measures, including an updated automated detection system to swiftly identify and remove graphic and violent content. Additionally, the platform has increased the number of moderators proficient in Arabic and Hebrew to review content. These steps supplement existing policies against violence, hate, and misinformation and include adjustments such as new restrictions on TikTok LIVE viewership.

Moreover, TikTok has collaborated with global law enforcement agencies and experts to bolster legal and human rights standards, further securing the platform. The company has also introduced Search reminders that caution users about potential misinformation and guide them to in-app well-being resources.

Since the conflict began in early October, TikTok has removed 500,000 videos and terminated 8,000 livestreams for violating guidelines within the affected region.

Videos related to the conflict on TikTok have garnered billions of views, but, as noted by Mashable’s Chris Taylor, the internet is flooded with disinformation perpetuated by partisans and bots on both sides. This includes the circulation of old photographs, fake news, and unverified claims that often contribute to further violence.

In its statement, TikTok pledged to continue adapting its safeguards in light of the ongoing situation.

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  • EU warns Elon Musk: Address Twitter/X’s disinformation issue or face penalties
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Meera Navlakha is a Culture Reporter at Mashable, joining the UK team in 2021. She covers digital culture, mental health, big tech, entertainment, and more. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Vice, Vogue India, and other publications.

This piece has been updated to reflect the most recent information about TikTok’s moderation policies amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.


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