In her first video for the app, posted on Saturday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argued that TikTok should not be banned.
The video of the New York Democrat began with the following: “This is not only my first TikTok, but it is a TikTok about TikTok. Do I believe TikTok should be banned? No.”
“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,” Ocasio-Cortez stated.”And this is an app that has over 150 million Americans on it.”
Her video, which has been viewed over 3 million times and liked over 545,000 times, was posted just two days after the CEO of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, testified before Congress. The hearing quickly degenerated into a slugfest of “yes” or “no” questions, with several lawmakers seemingly uninterested in hearing thorough explanations from the executive.
Data privacy issues, the proliferation of fake news, and the protection of children are all cited as reasons to consider banning TikTok.
“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,” Ocasio-Cortez stated.
According to the New York Democrat, big social networking platforms like Meta also gather“troves of deeply personal data.” She pointed out that the US doesn’t have “significant data or privacy protection laws,” in advance of discussing the General Data Protection Regulation, the regulation of the European Union governing the protection of personal information.
“So to me, the solution here is not to ban an individual company — but to actually protect Americans from this kind of egregious data harvesting that companies can do without your significant ability to say no,” remarked Ocasio-Cortez.
According to him, a classified briefing for Congress is a routine procedure whenever there is a threat to national security that warrants such attention.“So why would we be proposing a ban regarding such a significant issue without being clued in on this at all? It just doesn’t feel right to me.”
Finally, Ocasio-Cortez stated: “I think a lot of this is putting the cart before the horse because our first priority should be in protecting your ability to exist without social media companies harvesting and commodifying every single piece of data about you, without you, and without your consent.”