Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a Democratic Representative from New York. She posted her first TikTok Video over the weekend in support of the platform. McCarthy, the House Speaker, stated “the ban was intended to protect Americans against the genocidal Chinese regime. ”
New York Democrat’s indifferent support and interest in TikTok is being questioned in light of recent reports that TikTok’s Chinese-owned parent company deposited $150,000 into the Hispanic Congressional Caucus Foundation a few months back.
According to the Washington Post, the Chinese communist government bought a stake in ByteDance and one of its three seats on the board. Beijing could also be involved.
The Chinese regime 2017 passed legislation that required any organization (or other entity) to cooperate with the state intelligence work. According to the Associated Press, a 2014 antiespionage law states that “relevant organizations…cannot refuse” evidence collection for the government.
China’s power and control are not limited by the regime. Consequently, communists have access to any data they desire, regardless of whether companies such as ByteDance were complicit.
It is possible that the US’s most powerful enemy may have captured sensitive data. The Australian Senate Select Committee on Foreign Interference Through Social Media recently released a report that stated that TikTok gives Beijing latent power to weaponize the platform and suppress, amplify, and calibrate narratives in ways that target foreign political constituencies.
PBS reported on TikTok’s resistance to mentions of Tiananmen square’s massacre and images that were not favorable for the Chinese regime.
Shou Zhi Chew, CEO at TikTok, stated to a bipartisan House panel that ByteDance wasn’t an agent for China.
Democrats and Republicans are both skeptical.
After Chew’s testimony, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R. Wis.), who chaired the House Select Committee on China Communist Party, said that it was more than just exfiltrating American data with an American phone. It was what they could push to Americans through an algorithm and control our perceptions of reality.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R), chairwoman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, said, “TikTok is a weapon by the Chinese Communist Party to spy on you, manipulate what you see, and exploit for future generations.”
Last week, Antony Blinken (Secretary of State) stated that TikTok was a threat to the U.S.
Kevin McCarthy (R), House Speaker, announced Sunday that the House would proceed with legislation to protect Americans from the technological tentacles of the Chinese Communist Party.
It’s very concerning that the CEO of TikTok can’t be honest and admit what we already know to be true—China has access to TikTok user data.
The House will be moving forward with legislation to protect Americans from the technological tentacles of the Chinese Communist Party.
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) March 26, 2023
Mao Ning from China, China’s foreign minister stated Monday that the United States must respect the fair competition and stop repressing foreign businesses.
According To The Hill, Ocasio Cortez also opposed the ban and spoke out on the potentially compromised social media platform.
Ocasio Cortez says in the video, “This is not my first TikTok.” He adds, “Does TikTok need to go away?” ” No. ”
Ocasio-Cortez stated, “It is important that we discuss the unusuality of this move.” This app has been used by over 150 million Americans.
The New York Democrat says that “the solution isn’t to ban a single company, but to protect Americans from this type of egregious collection of data that companies can do without your having significant ability say no.”
Ocasio-Cortez stated that the United States usually proposes large moves that pose a significant threat to national security.
Ocasio Cortez claimed that he was not informed about the national security threat TikTok presents. ”
Ocasio-Cortez said on Twitter that “Banning TikTok does not solve data privacy concerns.” Congress should instead focus on the regulation and unchecked collection of user data by social media companies without their consent.
.@AOC takes at face value Chinese communist propaganda about its TikTok on TikTok. Xi must be pleased. https://t.co/fSphy8EzST
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) March 26, 2023
Why Not Ban TikTok?
Conservation Equity Management founder Kyle Bass wrote, “The TikTok Digital Trojan Horse…constructed by Xi himself” to respond to Ocasio-Cortez’s late defense of TikTok. It’s so obvious what CPC does…who can guess who the ex-bartender is?
The TikTok Digital Trojan Horse…constructed by Xi himself. It’s so obvious what the CPC is doing…who knows which lobbyist got to the former bartender? pic.twitter.com/EWolXH9jIy
— 🇺🇸Kyle Bass🇺🇦 (@Jkylebass) March 27, 2023
Fox News Digital provided an answer to Bass’s question. They stated that ByteDance had donated $150,000 each to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in December.
Heritage Foundation’s Jake Denton tweeted that AOC was on the CHCI advisory panel. He said, “What a coincidence!” ”
Altif Brown, the co-founder, and CEO at Constellation Network, pointed to Ocasio-Cortez’s inattention that TikTok could be banned, while social media networks can be simultaneously regulated. “These two things don’t need to be mutually exclusive. We should promote privacy regulation and invest in infrastructure that can guarantee it. AND PROTECT ALL OUR CITIZENS (AND ALLIES!) FROM data harvesting by hostile parties.
American Foreign Policy Council Fellow Michael Sobolik suggested Ocasio-Cortez’s video “echos TikTok’s talking points but ignores its true threat: CCP-directed info. ”
Sar Haribhakti, an economics professor at Rochester University, wrote that it was “extremely in brand” for her to turn this into a data privacy and social media issue. She also left out both the influence and info control arguments.