Sacha Baron Cohen accuses TikTok of 'creating biggest anti-Semitic movement since the Nazis’

Sacha Baron Cohen  (PA Archive)
Sacha Baron Cohen (PA Archive)

Sacha Baron Cohen has accused TikTok of “creating the biggest anti-Semitic movement since the Nazis” after the social media platform was reportedly flooded with hate content.

The British actor made the comments during a private meeting between Jewish celebrities and TikTok executives following concerns about anti-Semitic material proliferating on the platform.

Baron Cohen, along with others including actors Amy Schumer and Debra Messing, held a video call on Wednesday with Adam Presser, head of operations at TikTok, and Seth Melnick, global head of user operations.

The Borat actor criticised the company, claiming it had fostered hate among users and telling staff "shame on you".

"If you think back to October 7, the reason why Hamas were able to behead young people and rape women was they were fed images from when they were small kids that led them to hate," Baron Cohen said on the call, according to the New York Times.

He accused the app of peddling extremist content to young people, and criticised the platform for "creating the biggest anti-Semitic movement since the Nazis".

Baron Cohen highlighted the circulation of violent images on the app and said that TikTok has the power to "flip a switch" in tackling the anti-Semitism.

But Mr Presser claimed there was no "magic button" that could fix all the problems afflicting the platform.

Both chief executives, also Jewish, were described by the New York Times as "conciliatory" in the meeting.

It comes after an open letter to the US by Osama bin Laden justifying the 9/11 terror attacks went viral after being discovered by pro-Palestine Tik-Tokers on the Guardian website.

The 'Letter to America' was circulated among British Islamic extremists in 2002, a year after the atrocities, and saw the al-Qaeda leader try to justify the airliner hijackings that killed nearly 3,000.

It was published on the Guardian's website, based on a translation the newspaper obtained, under a link titled 'Read the Bin Laden letter in full'.

But the newspaper has now removed it after it began to be shared online in the context of the crisis in Gaza.

On TikTok and other social media platforms, video creators appear to have equated the 9/11 architect's views on Palestine with showing solidarity with Palestinian people in the current conflict.

TikTok says it is "proactively and aggressively” removing videos from the app showing influencers discussing bin Laden's "Letter to America".

A spokesperson for TikTok said: “We recognise this is an incredibly difficult and fearful time for millions of people around the world and in our TikTok community.

“Our leadership has been meeting with creators, civil society, human rights experts and stakeholders to listen to their experiences and feedback on how TikTok can remain a place for community, discovery and sharing authentically.”