TikTok removes videos promoting Osama bin Laden letter

Social media platform says letter 'clearly violates' rules on 'supporting any form of terrorism'

TikTok says it was not the only social-media site to carry the Osama bin Laden letter video. AP
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TikTok is removing videos on its platform that promote Osama bin Laden’s letter justifying the September 11 attacks against the US, saying that the user-generated content “clearly violates” its rules on “supporting any form of terrorism”.

“We are proactively and aggressively removing this content and investigating how it got on to our platform,” TikTok said in a post on X.

TikTok, already facing scrutiny from US politicians over possible ties to the Chinese government, said the videos quoting the late Al Qaeda founder had also appeared on other social media websites.

New Jersey Representative Josh Gottheimer said the videos showed that TikTok was “pushing pro-terrorist propaganda to influence Americans,” adding that the platform should either be banned or sold to an American company.

Social media users rediscovered bin Laden’s “Letter to America” – translated and published by the Observer in 2002 – amid heated online debate over Israel’s war against Hamas.

The UK newspaper on Wednesday removed the full text of the letter, saying that the transcript had been shared on social media “without the full context” and that it was now directing readers instead to “the news article that originally contextualised it".

The attacks on September 11, 2001, killed nearly 3,000 people, according to the US State Department.

Updated: November 16, 2023, 10:45 PM