Republican accused TikTok of allowing ‘violent threat’ to remain on platform​ for over a month, then suddenly, the company took swift action

News & Politics

During a Thursday House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing featuring TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew, GOP Rep. Kat Cammack of Florida highlighted a video on the platform that she described as a “direct threat” to the members of the committee.

But not long thereafter, the video had been removed from the platform.

The video, which featured what appeared to be an animation of a handgun firing, included a message that read, “Me asf at the, House Energy and Commerce Committee on 03/23/2023” — the post also included a hashtag with the name of the committee chair, Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington.

“You couldn’t take action after 41 days when a clear threat, a very violent threat … was posted on your platform. You damn well know that you cannot protect the data and security of this committee or the 150 million users of your app because it is an extension of the CCP,” Cammack declared.

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Later during the hearing, Chew indicated to Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas of California that the content had been taken down.

At another point in the hearing, Chew failed to provide a direct response when Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko of Arizona repeatedly pressed him about whether he agreed “that the Chinese government has persecuted the Uyghur population.”

The congresswoman accused Chew of engaging in evasiveness on what she described as an “easy question.”

Rather than offering a straightforward response, Chew described it as “concerning to hear about all accounts” regarding abuse of human rights, but said that he was at the hearing to discuss TikTok, and claimed that the platform allows users to express their opinions on all issues, including the topic at hand.

During her opening remarks at the hearing, committee chair Rodgers outright called for banning the social media platform. “Your platform should be banned,” she declared.

“TikTok: How Congress Can Safeguard American Data Privacy and Protect Children from Online Harms”

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