The ongoing war between Israel and Hamas has spilled over to TikTok, where young people on both sides are voicing their opinions A study conducted by Pew in 2022 revealed that about a quarter of young people rely on TikTok for news. However, social media expert Joan Donovan of Boston University warns that the app’s short video format lacks the nuance needed to understand a conflict as complex as the one between Israel and Hamas. It appears that there is a prevalence of videos highlighting Palestinian casualties, leaving out the perspective of Israel.
Former tech executive Jeff Morris and Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher have criticized TikTok for allegedly pushing an anti-Israel bias. An analysis by NBC News shows that young users are evenly divided between viewing pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli content.
TikTok claims to have removed over 925,000 videos related to the conflict that violated their policies. The platform acknowledges that they, along with other social media platforms, are dealing with misinformation and harmful posts during times of crisis.
There are concerns that social media could be used by extremist groups to inspire violence. Law enforcement officials fear that radicalizing videos could incite Lone Wolf attacks.
It is essential to understand the potential dangers and divisive nature of social media, as it has become an influential platform for young people..