By Elizabeth Kanter, Director Government Relations and Public Policy UK
Today the world will once again mark the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Holocaust Memorial Day offers us all an opportunity to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and of more recent genocides, and to take the time to reflect on the relevance of the Holocaust to our lives today.
To mark this year's Holocaust Memorial Day, we are changing our search function so that when a user looks for terms related to the Holocaust, we serve as their top result a link to a new in-app information hub. This is populated with educational videos about the Holocaust, the Jewish community and antisemitism today.
In addition, while we already block search results related to Holocaust denial, certain historical figures or other related violating terms or phrases, we will now prompt users to visit the information hub so that they can access authoritative content.
These changes to our search function will be permanent, ensuring that our users searching for information about the Holocaust are redirected to verifiable, authoritative sources of information any day of the year.
In addition, today when a UK TikTok user first opens the app, they will find at the top of their For You feed an educational video featuring Robert Rinder, as well as our top creators, to encourage our community to access the new educational resources and learn more about Holocaust Memorial Day.
The new resources include Lily Ebert BEM sharing her story of surviving Auschwitz-Birkenau flanked by her great-grandson, as well as information about the Jewish community then and now, and the ways in which we can tackle antisemitism today.
We're grateful to the Holocaust Educational Trust, the Antisemitism Policy Trust and the Community Security Trust for their help in producing this educational content. Working with partners such as these is one of the important ways in which we keep our community safe, inviting in external knowledge and expertise to tackle issues such as hate speech.
With antisemitic sentiment increasing around the world, today's announcement is the latest step we've taken to keep our community safe. In January of last year, for example, we made clear that we would not permit content that denies the Holocaust and other violent tragedies.
We went a step further in September by signing up to the EU's Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online, and in October we committed to remove misinformation and hurtful stereotypes about Jewish and other communities, including misinformation about notable Jewish individuals and families who are used as proxies to spread antisemitism.
Hate has no place on TikTok, and we know there is more we have to do to keep it off our platform. That's why, as well as working with our partners, we will continue to improve our policies, processes, and products to keep TikTok a place where everyone feels welcome and safe.
Comments from our partners
A spokesperson for the Antisemitism Policy Trust said:
"The theme for this year's Holocaust Memorial Day is 'be the light in the darkness'. We are pleased to be able to work with TikTok to ensure that, when it comes to learning about anti-Jewish racism and the Horrors of the Holocaust, the platform is able to spread the light of education."
A spokesperson for CST said:
“Social media is a key location for the promotion of antisemitic hatred to a global audience, and we are pleased to be able to work with TikTok as part of our wider engagement with social media platforms to try and spread awareness and educate users about antisemitism.”
A spokesperson for Holocaust Educational Trust:
“There should be no boundaries to education and we have been pleased to work with TikTok to ensure that accurate, truthful and engaging content to educate about this dark episode in our history is prominent on their app this Holocaust Memorial Day.”