TikTok denies pushing pro-Palestine content

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows TikTok app logo

By Sheila Dang

(Reuters) - Short-form video app TikTok said on Thursday that a hashtag expressing support for Israel in its war against Hamas has received more views than a pro-Palestine hashtag, refuting accusations the platform has pushed content in support of Palestine.

In a blog post, TikTok said U.S. views of the hashtag "standwithisrael" garnered 46 million views between Oct. 7 and Oct. 31, compared with 29 million views of the hashtag "standwithpalestine" over the same period.

"Over the last few days, there has been unsound analysis of TikTok hashtag data around the conflict, causing some commentators to falsely insinuate TikTok is pushing pro-Palestine content over pro-Israel content to U.S. users," the company said in the blog post.

Hamas gunmen killed 1,400 people in Israel on Oct. 7 and Israel's ensuing bombardment of Gaza has killed more than 9,000, according to Gaza authorities. TikTok said it had removed more than 925,000 videos in the region since Oct. 7 for violating policies about violence and misinformation.

The app, owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance, also said it took down 24 million fake accounts.

False claims about the conflict have spread on social platforms including X, Facebook and TikTok, Reuters previously reported.

(Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Nick Macfie)