Oct 31, 2023 - Economy

On TikTok, views of pro-Palestine posts far surpass views of pro-Israel posts

Global posts and views of select hashtags on TikTok
Data: TikTok; Chart: Axios Visuals

There have been nearly four times the number of views to TikTok posts using the hashtag #StandwithPalestine globally compared to posts using the hashtag #StandwithIsrael in the past two weeks, according to data from TikTok's creator center.

Why it matters: The data shows how the conversation around the war between Israel and Hamas is playing out on one of the most popular platforms for young people in the world.

Details: The view counts aren't surprising, given that posts using the hashtag #StandwithPalestine have far outpaced posts using the hashtag #StandwithIsrael in the U.S. and abroad over the past two weeks.

  • Globally, there have been 210,000 posts using the hashtag #StandwithPalestine and 17,000 using the hashtag #StandwithIsrael since October 16.
  • In the U.S., there have been 8,000 posts using the hashtag #StandwithPalestine in the past two weeks compared to 3,000 posts using the hashtag #StandwithIsrael in that time.

Between the lines: According to TikTok's data, the #StandwithPalestine hashtag is most popular in Malaysia, followed by Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar.

  • The #StandwithIsrael hashtag is most popular in Israel, followed by Malaysia, Greece, Lithuania and Croatia.

Be smart: TikTok does not allow terrorist content on its platform. Hamas, a TikTok spokesperson confirmed to Axios, is a considered a terrorist group by the platform and is banned.

  • TikTok considers itself an entertainment platform and prefers not to be a destination for news and politics, but the hashtag data shows global political conversations and advocacy occur frequently on the Chinese-owned app.

The big picture: While TikTok isn't a proxy for understanding global perspectives around the war, it does provide a unique window into how young users on TikTok are engaging with posts about the conflict.

  • According to TikTok's data, 87% of the audience makeup for #StandwithPalestine posts are under the age of 35, compared to 66% of the audience makeup for #StandwithIsrael posts.
  • TikTok says it has more than 1 billion monthly active users. The app is banned in certain countries, including India, which this year surpassed China as the world's most populous country.
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