Families of hostages in Gaza launched a global campaign to raise awareness and demand release, using social media ads.
TikTok refused these ads, citing them as “too political,” while accepting campaigns for Palestinian children.
An internal memo later revealed unequal treatment and potential bias within TikTok’s moderation policies, leading to a hostile environment for Jewish and Israeli employees. (Trending: Trans Athlete Breaks College Record After Joining Women’s Team)
Screenshots exposed moderators celebrating violent content and promoting anti-Israel guidelines.
“This, very likely, influences the amount of hostile propaganda against Israel and Jews and harmful misinformation on our platform, both in the USA and Europe,” an Israeli employee said.
“Labeling kidnapped babies, women, children, and elderly citizens who were taken from their beds by Hamas-ISIS as a ‘political issue’ is, at the very least, one-sided,” the memo’s author said.
“This way, American users are BOMBARDED with paid ads that present the misery of children in Gaza (not mentioning, of course, the massive humanitarian aid entering Gaza and stolen by Hamas as indicated by the U.N.), some with a high budget (according to our own company’s top ads creative center) while ads that show the humanitarian tragedy of Israeli hostages cannot be presented to these audiences.”
Despite claims of impartiality, TikTok’s rejection of the Israeli campaign has raised serious concerns.
The forum behind the campaign confirmed TikTok’s refusal and turned to other platforms for their ads.
“We were told that according to their policy, we were unable to place paid campaigns because they were considered too political or too graphic,” advertising professional Yossi Lubaton said.
“They told us it was a strict policy that was applied to the Israeli side, as well as to the other side, and so we started to put the paid campaign on Facebook and Google instead.”
“Our campaign is based on humanitarian policy, kidnapping children and civilians is a war crime and Hamas should release them,” Lubaton said.
TikTok defended its decision based on advertising policies and community guidelines, allowing humanitarian campaigns for Palestinian children.