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Opinion | TikTok’s Osama bin Laden Fiasco

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TikTok’s hot new social-media influencer is . . . Osama bin Laden. Yes, the terrorist who plotted 9/11 went viral this week, and not in a good way. Users have been posting videos to the Chinese-owned app, urging their followers to read bin Laden’s 2002 “letter to America,” while suggesting he was on to something. “I will never look at this country the same,” one user said.

The videos racked up hundreds of thousands of views. TikTok said Thursday it is “aggressively removing” such content. “The number of videos on TikTok is small and reports of it trending on our platform are inaccurate,” the company said. Then it blamed critics and journalists for noticing, saying that all the attention was driving more traffic to the posts. The British newspaper the Guardian unpublished its copy of the bin Laden letter, posted in 2002, because it was being “widely shared on social media without the full context.”

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