Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Joins TikTok to Post Video Against Bipartisan Move Toward Ban: ‘It Just Doesn’t Feel Right’
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined TikTok to post a TikTok about banning TikTok after last week’s hearing on TikTok on Capitol Hill.
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew appeared before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Thursday and was taken apart by both Republicans and Democrats over violations of user privacy, sending data to the communist Chinese government, and what was characterized as deliberate harm to American youth by both Democrats and Republicans.
That bipartisan effort didn’t “feel right” to Ocasio-Cortez, though, and consequently she went and joined the app that the American government has repeatedly declared unsafe and even banned its use on government-issued devices.
“I think it’s important to discuss how unprecedented of a move this would be. The United States has never before banned a social media company from existence, from operating in our borders,” said AOC. “And this is an app that has over 150 million Americans on it.”
Other countries have banned the app, either at the government-issued level or more broadly, and for many of the reasons that were brought up in the House hearing.
Ocasio-Cortez seemed to imply in her TikTok video defense of TikTok that there is something untoward about the bipartisan effort to confront the app company, which is owned by China-based parent company ByteDance.
She pointed out that there has been no classified briefing of Congress on the issue, and said, “why would we be proposing a ban regarding such a significant issue without being included on this at all?”
“It just doesn’t feel right to me,” she said.
Some thoughts on TikTok…
National Review noted that there are multiple investigations, and that journalists are among the app’s targets, in an article about AOC on Sunday:
Meanwhile, the Justice Department is reportedly investigating TikTok over allegations that it has been spying on American citizens, including several tech journalists.
The DOJ’s criminal division, the FBI and the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia opened the investigation late last year after ByteDance acknowledged that it had inappropriately obtained the data of U.S. TikTok users, including two reporters, Forbes reported.
Emily Baker-White, a Forbes journalist who said ByteDance used her TikTok account to track her location in an effort to find her sources, reported Thursday that the FBI and DOJ are investigating the situation.
CEO Shou Zi Chew pleaded ignorance to violent content directed at the House committee on Thursday, and dodged questions about China’s persecution of the Uyghur people.
It is not clear whether there will be a ban passed, though there is widespread support in the House and Senate. It remains to be seen whether President Joe Biden would veto such a bill targeting a company with ties to China.
Watch the clip above, via AOC on TikTok.
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