Senators Criticize TikTok as Powerful Propaganda Tool

In a recent interview on CBS News’s “Face the Nation,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) and Ranking Member Marco Rubio (R-FL) expressed concerns over the popular social media app TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. Both senators warned that TikTok, allegedly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, poses a significant threat to national security.

Warner criticized President Joe Biden’s campaign for utilizing TikTok, stating that it sends a contradictory message. He emphasized that the app has the potential to collect data from American users and manipulate the content they see, potentially turning them against each other. Warner argued that the Chinese Communist Party could exploit TikTok’s algorithm to spread propaganda and influence public opinion.

Rubio echoed Warner’s sentiments, highlighting the powerful recommender engine owned by ByteDance. He explained that under Chinese law, ByteDance must have access to user data in order for the algorithm to function effectively. Rubio emphasized that regardless of who owns TikTok or where the data is stored, as long as ByteDance engineers in China have access to the algorithm, they also have access to American data.

Both senators called for action to address the national security implications of TikTok’s ownership by a Chinese company. They suggested that ByteDance should be forced to divest its ownership in TikTok to prevent the potential exploitation of user data and manipulation of the app’s algorithm for propaganda purposes.

Overall, Warner and Rubio’s remarks underscore a bipartisan concern over the influence of TikTok, raising questions about the app’s ties to the Chinese government and its impact on American users. As the U.S. House of Representatives prepares to vote on a bill that could ban TikTok in the country, the debate over the app’s ownership and security risks continues to intensify.


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