TikTok & The Protocols of the Elders of Zion

3 min readMar 19, 2023

How an antique forgery continues to spread its lies

Image: US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Flicking idly through the dancing girls and daft comic set pieces of TikTok the other day, I was surprised to find myself suddenly embroiled in a ‘debate’ (I use the term lightly) about the vicious and ongoing nature of historical anti-semitism and the key role played therein by The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. A forged and profoundly racist text, emanating from Russia in the early 20th century, The Protocols fraudulently presents a sinister, worldwide Jewish plot to control global finances and culture, as if it were a real thing, rather than the grotesque racist fabrication that it actually is.

Eagerly read and believed by the likes of Adolf Hitler, The Protocols is one of the most dangerously influential pieces of hate propaganda ever produced. TikTok however, has many avenues and corners, down one of which I found a young historian outlining the history of The Protocols and clearly explaining how dangerous a text it is, and how its lies continue to influence anti-semitic thought and action today, threatening and endangering Jewish people everywhere.

Stepping mistakenly into the comments section, I found myself in a brief rhetorical tussle with user ‘Ak’ who had this to say about this repellent forgery: ‘Yeah but everything it said has come true.’ Pointing out that only ignorant anti-semites think like that, he responded as you see below, and I just returned to the dancing girls and cartoons, unwilling to waste even a single further keystroke on him.

Image: TikTok

Whilst ‘Ak’ is obviously just one idiot on the internet, there were plenty of other supportive or ‘curious’ comments about The Protocols, and this was just one post: as with Twitter, you’ll find plenty of anti-semitic rubbish going unchallenged on TikTok.

It frightens me to think that 120 years after it was written this awful and transparently false document still circulates and does active harm to its prey: Jewish people around the world. Cited not only by the Nazis and other notorious anti-semites, it was also used in part as justification for the 911 attacks that killed thousands of innocent people of all types: Jews, gentiles, Muslims, everyone, dying together because of a crude and baseless lie.

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a profoundly dangerous document, but it lives and breathes even now, menacing and endangering the lives of real people in real time, today. The big social media platforms do little to nothing to challenge anti-semitic content on their platforms, so it falls to us, the user. Even if comes down to simply calling an idiot an idiot on the internet, we all have a duty to challenge this hideous text and the running dogs who hide behind it, wherever we find them.

Nick Jordan