TikTok has removed two dozen accounts related to the ISIS terrorist group, on suspicion of publishing propaganda material aimed at recruiting new members.
This reaction comes after an investigation published by The Wall Street Journal , although the impact on the propaganda structure of the so-called “Islamic State” is still not entirely clear.
TikTok is the fashion app of 2019. It is based on sharing very short videos recorded in vertical format; It is designed exclusively for use with the mobile, taking advantage of high quality cameras that already include the latest models.
ISIS uses TikTok to connect with young people
This new social network is having a lot of success among the youngest, being a completely different way of communicating and expressing oneself. Unlike “traditional” social networks, in TikTok it is not necessary to write a publication; Everything is done through videos that are easy to record and edit.
This appeal among the youngest is what would have motivated ISIS to establish a presence in this social network. Specifically, the members behind these would have used this type of short videos to appeal to the youngest , presenting themselves as a modern and connected organization.
The videos uploaded by these accounts adopt the aesthetic used by the most popular creators on the platform, such as the use of visual effects such as stars and hearts; the difference is the content of the videos, in which odes are sung starring ISIS soldiers and in which women affirm their “jihadist commitment” to the cameras.
Instead, other videos follow the style of videos uploaded on other platforms, showing Islamic bodies and slogans. According to The Wall Street Journal , some of these videos intermingle violent images with more pleasant ones , possibly in an attempt to associate ISIS acts with young movements.
Also striking are videos aimed especially at women, who intersperse images of extremists with attractive models.
Videos that reached thousands of people
The true reach of the ISIS propaganda network on TikTok is unknown; The company has expelled about two dozen accounts from its platform , for violating the rules relevant to the promotion of terrorist acts and organizations.
None of the accounts closed were especially successful; the most, they barely had more than 1,000 followers. More worrying is that these videos serve as “initiation” to take users to more extremist propaganda; Some of these videos got dozens of likes, or likes.
TikTok has responded publicly, stating that “content promoted by terrorist organizations has absolutely no place in TikTok . ” Not only were the accounts deleted, but access to the associated devices was also blocked.
The company states that it has developed “increasingly comprehensive” controls to detect these types of activities, and that it has a team dedicated to “proactive protection.”
Despite his youth, TikTok has already been involved in more than one controversy; especially from China, where the original version of the app includes integrated facial recognition . Earlier this year, TikTok was fined by US authorities for collecting data on minors.
Despite these scandals, the app continues to grow day by day, to the point that Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, considers her as his biggest rival.