GOP Rep. Blames TikTok For Hamas Sympathy Among Youths

In a video posted on Saturday, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) sought to draw attention to a concerning trend among young Americans: a surge in support for the Hamas terrorist group. Gallagher, who chairs the Select Committee on China, has described this phenomenon as “the largest-scale malign influence operation ever conducted” and points the finger at the social media app TikTok as a major culprit in this shift of perspective.

Gallagher’s concerns stem from the discovery that a significant number of young Americans seem to justify the actions of Hamas following their brutal attack on innocent Israeli citizens on Oct. 7. 

“For weeks, we’ve been exposed to shocking visuals and firsthand accounts of Hamas’ atrocities: burned bodies, decapitated infants, violated women, children bound to their parents, and mutilated corpses. These images and stories are profoundly evil and difficult to put into words,” he stated.

What alarmed Gallagher even further were the rallies at elite college campuses that celebrated Hamas’ violent actions and the letters from faculty members that excused the acts of U.S. government-designated terrorists.

“I thought I’d seen the bottom; I thought I’d gone numb, but then I read a Harvard poll [revealing that] 51 percent of Americans ages 18 to 24 believe Hamas was justified in its brutal terrorist attacks on innocent Israeli citizens on October 7,” he stated.

Questioning how America has reached a point where a majority of young Americans hold such views, the congressman expressed a belief that the source of this shift in perspective lies in the information young Americans receive. He points to TikTok, a platform that has grown beyond viral dance videos to become a significant news source for many. 

Gallagher highlights the fact that TikTok is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, a concern given that the CCP uses the platform to push propaganda and censor dissenting views.

“Today, TikTok is the top search engine for more than half of Gen Z and it’s controlled by America’s foremost adversary — the Chinese Communist Party,” he warns, emphasizing that in China, there is no concept of a truly private company.

Concerns about TikTok’s influence and operations extend beyond mere entertainment, as Gallagher highlights the platform’s role in shaping narratives and silencing opposing voices, particularly in the context of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

“We know for a fact that the CCP uses TikTok to push its propaganda and censor views that diverge from the party line,” he asserted, going on to raise concerns about TikTok’s pervasive censorship, highlighting specific instances of bias against Israel, Jews, Western values, and various other topics. 

He also mentioned instances where TikTok suppressed content related to LGBT issues and even temporarily blocked an American Muslim activist who criticized the CCP’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims.

To illustrate the extent of this manipulation, Gallagher cites a Wall Street Journal report that revealed Chinese web platforms Baidu and Alibaba removed Israel from their maps, demonstrating how the CCP can introduce biases into apps under its de facto control.

“For those who know the CCP, this comes as no surprise. Propaganda and censorship are core features of its governing philosophy,” he warned.

Drawing a historical parallel, Gallagher cautions against the potential risks of TikTok’s presence in the United States. He argues that allowing TikTok, a CCP-controlled entity, to become the dominant media platform in America is a grave mistake, akin to letting Pravda and the KGB purchase major American news outlets during the Cuban missile crisis.

In conclusion, the Wisconsin lawmaker calls for an urgent ban on the platform or, at the very least, a forced sale to an American company. He emphasizes that the clock is ticking, and action is needed to protect American values and national security.

Gallagher’s video comes as multiple members of Congress and conservatives have renewed calls for the ban of TikTok in the U.S. due to the platform’s anti-Israel bias. According to many, the platform pushes pro-Palestinian content more so that young Americans are getting the “wrong information” about the conflict between Hamas and Israel.