Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.) told CNN anchor Jake Tapper on Wednesday that the popular social-media app TikTok is distorting Americans’ perception of the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Tapper, who is Jewish, had asked Fetterman—who is not but has been one of the most vocal Zionists in Congress of late—about a New York Times/Siena College poll which found that 72% of registered voters aged 18 to 29 disapprove of the way U.S. President Joe Biden is handling the Israel-Palestine conflict. Why do so many younger people, especially Democrats, see Israel differently from the senator? Tapper asked.
“I really don’t know,” Fetterman replied. “I do know that a lot of people are getting their perspective from TikTok.”
“If you’re kind of getting your perspective on the world on TikTok, it’s going to tend to be kind of warped or not reflective of the history and actually the way things absolutely are,” said Fetterman. “Hamas started this, and they actually broke the ceasefire, and they attacked and murdered babies, children, women—attacked a music concert and everything. It’s outrageous.”
He went on to say that “it’s been very clear that Israel would very much want there to be peace. But they’ve made it very clear that after Oct. 7, that’s just not possible so long as Hamas is allowed to exist.”
Earlier this month, Jewish TikTok employees reported experiencing antisemitism on the job and anti-Israel bias in content moderation.
In March, Noa Tishby, the former Israeli special envoy for combating antisemitism, told JNS that she regarded TikTok as the most hateful social-media platform.