TikTok, the increasingly popular social media app for music and dance this year, is said to be the site of the latest attempt by the Islamic State Terrorist Organization (ISIS) to spread propaganda. While the site prohibits problematic accounts, this is still a worrying trend.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, the organization is trying to use the TikTok format to make itself more attractive. Social media intelligence agency Storyful identified two dozen accounts that spread the bad news about TikTok. These reports feature videos showing corpses, people singing IS songs, and women taking a "jihadist" stance, often with hearts and stars streaming across the screen. It sounds like a particularly macabre twist of the app's typical fare.
The app has since removed the two dozen accounts propagandizing the propaganda, as the promotion of terrorist organizations violates corporate rules stating, " Terrorist organizations and other criminal organizations use TikTok DO NOT use TikTok to promote and support these organizations or individuals. "
Although none of the accounts appear to be particularly popular, at least some have amassed more than 1
Given the fact that a large number of TikTok users (at est in my experience with the app) seems to be young and therefore malleable, it is likely that they are the audience to whom the Islamic state wants to appeal. WSJ also reports that some of the reports seemed to be directed at young women, with the extremist footage interspersed with images of running horses and attractive young men. (Granted, my first reaction was, "How dare you bring the horses?")
TikToks have become more and more political since their popularity. Last week, the company apparently lifted its "shadow ban" on Pro Trump content. Until then, there are supposed to be censorships in certain parts of the world for posts whose content is related to LGBTQ + relations and which bans criticism of the Chinese government in Turkey or China. TikTok belongs to the Chinese company Byte Dance. The company said since then that the rules that allowed these censors are outdated.