#Jewish TikTok: The JewToks’ Fight against Antisemitism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Meet the “JewToks.” A squad of Jewish-American TikTokers who have decided to dedicate their accounts to combatting antisemitism online and creating a different kind of digital atmosphere. They are part of the emerging #JewishTikTok community in the United States, transforming TikTok into a space to communicate and educate on Judaism. This chapter explores JewTok’s unique ways of translating Jewish traditions and customs into TikTok’s vernaculars using memes, dance, challenges, and multiple communicative features. Those performative strategies facilitate dialogic modes that enable users to encounter and learn about the JewTok’s community’s burning day-to-day issues. However, TikTok’s playful environment that allows the celebration of Judaism comes with a price as the JewToks face two significant threats: (1) Human—TikTok’s dark side in which hate trolls are attacking JewToks accounts and spreading hate content. “Haters are hijacking Jewish content and giving it an antisemitic remix,” said one of the JewToks interviewed for this chapter; (2) Algorithm—TikTok’s moderation system constantly blocks JewToks’ responses to discriminating and humiliating content. The fight against antisemitism on TikTok might be a double-edged sword, but the JewToks believe their harness of the platform’s creative, engaging, and highly visible tools can change the toxic environment of hate speech, racism, and antisemitism in the digital realm.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationTikTok Cultures in the United States
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages47-58
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781000602159
ISBN (Print)9781032246079
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 selection and editorial matter, Trevor Boffone; individual chapters, the contributors. All rights reserved.

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