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TikTok investigates far-right infiltration as hate videos rack up nearly a million views

Social media platform TikTok is investigating the infiltration of far-right figures on its platform after videos preaching racism and hate have received over 840,000 views on the platform.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, a spokesperson from the platform said that Britain First and Tommy Robinson’s accounts “are subject to a live investigation” and will be banned in the meantime, “due to the nature of some of the content posted”.

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Earlier this month, we revealed that far-right figures had joined TikTok to circumvent bans from other social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

With a potential audience of 800 million, Robinson and Britain First leader Paul Golding boasted that they had found a new outlet for their views. But now, following pressure from Scram News and Al Jazeera, their accounts are in jeopardy.

TikTok’s intervention comes as analysis from Scram News reveals the extent of the far-right’s reach on the platform.

Amassing over 520,000 views, Britain First’s racist videos include one viewed almost 100,000 times in which party leader Paul Golding tells migrants at Calais to “go home” and another in which he pledges to “take our country back” from immigrants.

The group’s most popular video, with some 118,000 views, shows Britain First “activists” mocking a Muslim man for not shaking a woman’s hand.

Tommy Robinson has 21,000 followers. His videos include one in which he falsely claims Muslims are breaking the coronavirus lockdown – viewed over 220,000 times.

Another video shows Robinson mocking a man for speaking another language, and is captioned:

“When you are too much of a coward to swear at someone you do it in your own shit language.”

At the time of publication, Robinson’s hate videos have received over 322,000 views.

TikTok’s guidelines state that the platform does not allow “threats of violence” or intimidation “in the pursuit of political, religious, ethnic, or ideological objectives”

The platform also has a specific section on hate speech, claiming:

“We do not tolerate content that attacks or incites violence against an individual or a group of individuals on the basis of protected attributes.”

Now that TikTok has intervened, the content may be permanently removed from the platform.

Indeed, Harun Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, has called on TikTok “to recognise its responsibility against hate” and “align with best practice”.

Let’s hope this pressure leads to change.


TAKE ACTION

While they’re investigating, right now is a crucial moment to let TikTok know that you want them to ban Britain First and Tommy Robinson, to stop them spreading hate on their platform. Here’s how:

Are you on TikTok? Follow these links to report Britain First and Tommy Robinson directly on the platform. Tap “Share” in the bottom-right corner of one of their videos; then tap “Report”; select the reason for your report (we suggest “Hate speech”); when you’re done, tap “Submit”.

Not on TikTok but on Twitter? Click here to tweet TikTok.

Not on TikTok or Twitter? Send them an email at feedback@tiktok.com – below are some bullet points to help you:

  • I was very pleased to hear that TikTok is investigating far-right groups Britain First and Tommy Robinson.
  • Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have all removed their accounts.
  • Please ban them for life to stop them spreading their hate.