Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley alleged that every 30 minutes spent on TikTok increases antisemitism, making a user “17% more antisemitic, more pro-Hamas” during Wednesday night’s primary debate.
“We really do need to ban TikTok once and for all, and let me tell you why: for every 30 minutes that someone watches TikTok every day, they become 17% more antisemitic, more pro-Hamas based on doing that,” Haley said.
Her comments prompted immediate questions on social media, with many users wondering where she got a statistic like that.
The answer appears to be from a study spearheaded by Anthony Goldbloom, which was contracted with Generation Lab, a firm specializing in youth surveys.
“A new survey suggests TikTok is a meaningful driver of a surge in antisemitism. #TikToxic,” Goldbloom wrote on X in late November.
Goldbloom, the founder of a data science platform that was sold to Google called Kaggle, made the data for the survey, which polled more than 1,300 Americans under the age of 30, available on GitHub.
But Haley botched reporting the findings of the survey, which do not state that every 30 minutes spent on TikTok makes its users 17% more antisemitic—rather spending at least 30 minutes per day increases the chance.
“Spending at least 30 minutes a day on TikTok increases the chances a respondent holds antisemitic or anti-Israel views by 17% (compared with 6% for Instagram and 2% for X),” Goldbloom said.
“TikTok users are more likely to believe Jewish people are dishonest in business, are disloyal to America, and have too much power in the media,” he added. “They are also more likely to disagree that Israel has a right to defend itself against those who want to destroy it.”
Goldbloom’s research additionally found that for every view of a TikTok video with a pro-Israel hashtag in the US, there are 54 views of videos with pro-Palestinian hashtags.
He was also among a group of about 40 Jewish tech leaders that met with TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew in mid-November amid reports that TikTok’s algorithm is disproportionately favoring pro-Palestine content over pro-Israel content.
“For every view of pro-Israel posts, there are about 54 views of pro-Palestine posts,” Goldbloom said. “If TikTok was just a mirror reflecting back what people believe, it shouldn’t be a 54:1 ratio.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Haley’s campaign for comment.