TikTok lags on extremism as MPs call out graphic content on platform



Paterson has labelled TikTok a “bad-faith actor” and urged the Albanese government to join other countries in curbing Chinese influence on TikTok’s operations.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Saturday that Labor had no plans to move beyond existing rules stopping government officials from using TikTok on phones with sensitive information.

On Monday, senior minister Tanya Plibersek said: “We’ll take the advice of our security and intelligence agencies on anything we need to do around TikTok. I think people should be careful of the data that they put online in general. Like I say, if the security and intelligence agencies give us advice on TikTok, we’ll take it.”

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, established in 2017 and designed to share information to clamp down on violent content, includes all major social media platforms except for TikTok.

“[TikTok] is sort of behind the rest of the companies,” Inman Grant said, noting that other members of the group may be uncomfortable co-operating with a Chinese-owned firm. “But they are in a class of themselves because they’re not part of these broader groups.”

A TikTok spokeswoman was unable to comment on the platform’s non-involvement in the global forum. TikTok, however, is a member of the United Nations-backed group Tech Against Terrorism.

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Paterson, who has consistently backed Israel in its war in Gaza, said some of the most graphic content online from the war existed on TikTok.

Burns, a Jewish MP, said the eSafety commissioner’s warnings were important, adding that platforms such as TikTok had “a responsibility to ensure they are not exacerbating tensions within society, or radicalising people”.

Greens leader Adam Bandt said: “The growing alarm about the slaughter of civilians is not the result of an algorithm, but the brutal reality of the invasion of Gaza that Labor continues to support.”

The EU warned TikTok in October about “disinformation” spreading on the platform after Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel, which killed about 1200 Israelis. More than 31,000 Palestinians have been killed since the war began, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry.

In November, TikTok said it was countering antisemitism and had removed millions of videos related to hate speech, hateful behaviour, harassment and bullying.

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