After receiving criticism from the European Union in the wake of Hamas’ attack on Israel, TikTok announced that it would be increasing the number of employees working to remove harmful content from the app.
ByteDance, a Chinese company, announced in a statement that it had removed more than half a million videos and shut down eight thousand live streams in the region and that it had “immediately mobilized significant resources and personnel” to do so.
On Friday, the EU announced it had initiated an investigation into X, formerly known as Twitter, for spreading false information about the war. The EU also chastised Meta, Facebook’s owner.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, and the current conflict between Hamas and Israel are just some recent conflicts in which social media businesses have come under increased scrutiny.
Because of the “heightened safety risk in the context of the present hostage scenario,” live broadcasts have also been curtailed.
On Thursday, EU industry commissioner Thierry Breton wrote to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, urging the company to improve its response time to requests from law authorities to remove unlawful content. Breton requested a response to his letter within 24 hours.
According to Breton, “indications that TikTok is being used to propagate unlawful content and disinformation in the EU” have been noticed.
Breton claimed that “false and distorted images and facts” were circulating on TikTok and that the company was responsible for safeguarding children and teenagers from disturbing content such as films of hostage holding.
TikTok expressed shock and outrage at the terror attacks in Israel last week. They said they are also highly distressed by the worsening humanitarian disaster in Gaza.
It also emphasized that it is “committed to promoting free expression, keeping our commitment to human rights, and protecting our platform throughout the Israel-Hamas war.”