ISD’s analysis of trending anti-migrant TikTok videos in Ireland is covered by the Irish Examiner, featuring on the front page of Friday’s paper. Our investigation on a sample of 20 viral videos showed how a small number of accounts, with followers ranging from 15 and 10K, amassed a viewership between 4K and 1.2M. Many of these videos pushed unfounded claims or accusations against migrants and asylum seekers, often showing close-images of the individuals or disclosing personal information as a form of doxxing. In one case, a video of a migrant entering a hospital in Dublin with overlaid text accusing him of having entered to molest children and sexually assault staff and parents, led to the identification and assault of the individual on the streets of the city.
The spread of this type of content is not specific to TikTok’s platform, but the clear push into the spotlight is a result of its algorithm and a failure of enforcing their own community guidelines.
ISD Senior Analyst Ciarán O’Connor also spoke to Irish broadcaster RTÉ during Prime Time about our findings. “Many TikTok videos featured in this report make unverified claims of attacks and sexual assaults against women, children and men perpetrated by migrants. And these videos also show migrants being confronted in public, harassed, or in some cases, assaulted. And some of these videos have been viewed over a million times,” he said.
The Dispatch is now available on our website.