- Social media video app TikTok on Thursday said it will ban posts that promote Osama bin Laden’s 2002 letter detailing reasons the late al-Qaida leader attacked Americans.1
- This announcement comes after the letter from bin Laden, who was killed by US forces in 2011 nearly a decade after the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the US, was spreading across the platform as part of the debate over the current Israel-Hamas war.1
- TikTok Policy posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying that content promoting the letter violates its rules and the company is 'proactively and aggressively' taking the content down. The letter — published on Nov. 24, 2002 — criticizes America's support for Israel's occupation of Palestine.2
- White House spokesman Andrew Bates condemned those spreading the 'repugnant, evil, and antisemitic lies' contained in the letter. However, some young TikTok users posted videos showing sympathy for bin Laden's statements.3
- A transcript of the letter published by The Guardian in 2002 became the second-most viewed page on the publication's site Wednesday before the outlet removed the letter.4
- As this controversy unfolded, it appeared that views of the TikTok posts were significantly high, but the totals were paltry compared to less troublesome posts. And videos responding to the initial posts seemed to receive better traffic.5
- Right narrative, as provided by American Spectator. Leftists have spent so much time hating America and have made toppling institutions of the US such a large part of their agenda that it was just a matter of time before they got around to turning bin Laden into a hero. That these TikTok users are so susceptible to propaganda shows they were never patriotic to begin with. It's a sad state of affairs, but it's also evidence the leftists must be kept out of power.
- Left narrative, as provided by Washington Post. The sudden interest in bin Laden's letter is partially driven by the youth of TikTok users and their desire to be controversial in order to generate clicks. But the reason this story got out of control was the right-wing media’s determination to paint a few individual users as part of a much larger movement in order to generate ratings and clicks. This reflects the sorry state of deteriorating US media and politics.