Nonetheless, it’s unclear what sparked the sharing of bin Laden’s letter.
Primarily based on a assessment of TikTok performed by WIRED earlier than the platform started eradicating movies, the primary video directing viewers to learn bin Laden’s letter was posted on Friday, November 10, by an account with simply 3,800 followers. The video has solely been considered 1,133 instances as of the morning of Friday, November 17, with simply 12 feedback.
The account is, nonetheless, fairly prolific, and posts as much as a dozen movies every day, most of that are reposted from different accounts. The account holder seems to be an avid Trump supporter, and so they share questionable content material together with conspiracy theories principally linked to president Joe Biden. One video shared this week steered that Biden was in reality a physique double.
In contrast to among the later movies, which garnered many extra views, this account holder didn’t learn any of the content material of the letter, merely telling their followers: “It’s an excessive amount of to say, however I want for you guys to go and google Osama bin Laden’s “Letter to America,” and browse it. It is going to clarify loads.”
The video was posted 24 hours after searches for the bin Laden letter spiked, in accordance with knowledge from Google Tendencies. The account holder didn’t reply to WIRED’s request for touch upon how they realized concerning the letter. (A TikTok spokesperson advised WIRED that the corporate was eradicating the November 10 video after WIRED had flagged it, and WIRED can verify the video has now been eliminated.)
Bin Laden’s letter didn’t achieve a lot consideration on TikTok till Monday, November 13, when one other TikTok person posted a video urging individuals to go and browse the letter. Once more, this video, from an account with 12,800 followers, didn’t learn particular strains from the letter, however confirmed the poster apparently in shock upon discovering the letter’s contents.
This video gained much more consideration, racking up over 210,000 views earlier than it was taken down on Thursday. Quite a few different accounts tagged or referenced this video in their very own “Letter to America” movies within the following days.
The account holder, who didn’t reply to a query from WIRED asking the place she first heard concerning the letter, posted a follow-up video on Wednesday, November 15, explaining that she had heard concerning the bin Laden video over the weekend however didn’t have time to publish about it till Monday, November 13, although she did not say the place she had seen it referenced.