TikTok has come under GOP fire in recent weeks after the app showed an apparent spike in pro-Palestine content after the IDF began its bombing campaign of Gaza following Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack. Republican politicians have publicly claimed that the company is intentionally promoting pro-Palestine content with the goal of “brainwashing our [American] youth” into supporting Hamas.
But the proliferation of pro-Palestine content on TikTok isn’t due to the app’s algorithm, the company stated in a press release on Monday. Rather, it claimed that teenagers simply tend to support Palestine more.
“Attitudes among young people skewed toward Palestine long before TikTok existed,” the release stated. “Support for Israel (as compared to sympathy for Palestine) has been lower among younger Americans for some time. This is evidenced by looking at Gallup polling data of millennials dating as far back as 2010, long before TikTok even existed.”
The data linked by the release states that sympathy toward Israel is “solidly positive” among older generations, but that millennials were “evenly divided,” with 42 percent sympathizing more with Palestine and 40 percent sympathizing more with Israel.