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In a move that must have pleased the Chinese Communist Party, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just made her first TikTok video, showing her support for the Chinese-owned app despite talks of a possible U.S. ban.
You can watch the video at the bottom of this post.
“This is not only my first TikTok, but it is a TikTok about TikTok,” Ocasio-Cortez said. She thinks that banning TikTok would be an extreme action. The U.S. has never banned a social media company, and over 150 million Americans use TikTok.
The debate about TikTok’s future comes after its CEO, Shou Zi Chew, testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Members of the committee were doubtful that TikTok could keep U.S. data and users safe from the Chinese Communist Party.
TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is based in China, which raises concerns about whether the company might be forced to share user data with the Chinese government.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) told TikTok’s Chinese owners to sell their shares in the company or risk a ban. Meanwhile, the Justice Department is investigating TikTok over claims that it spied on Americans, including some journalists.
ByteDance admitted to spying after an internal investigation, and the employee in charge of the team responsible was fired. Despite this, Ocasio-Cortez argued against a ban in her TikTok video, which has been viewed over 3 million times.
“They say because of this egregious amount of data harvesting, we should ban this app. However, that doesn’t really address the core of the issue,” she said. Ocasio-Cortez pointed out that other social media platforms collect personal data, and the U.S. lacks strong data protection laws.
Instead of banning TikTok, Ocasio-Cortez believes the solution is to protect Americans from companies that collect data without users having much say. She also mentioned that Congress usually gets a classified briefing about major moves related to national security, but that didn’t happen with TikTok’s potential ban.
“So 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.
Here is the video via Twitter, where it was also posted:
Banning TikTok isn’t the solution to data privacy concerns. Instead, Congress needs to focus on regulating social media companies’ unchecked habit of collecting user data without their consent. pic.twitter.com/DASSeTeMCT
— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) March 25, 2023