The communist Chinese government-backed TikTok paid for some of its prominent stars to go to Washington, D.C. and object to a ban on the app at a press conference, as the TikTok CEO prepared to testify before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing.
A group of TikTok stars descended on Washington, D.C. to demand the app not be banned in America. PJ Media’s Lincoln Brown reported that TikTok paid for the travel and accommodations of 20 of these stars protesting a potential ban. Nothing like getting money from a Chinese-owned company to lobby Congress to protect Chinese spyware.
NBC News reported that the influencers said they were flown to D.C. to participate in a press conference. TikToker mrs.b.tv posted on Instagram that “TikTok flew me to DC to help #SaveTikTok!” Another TikTok influencer, Duncan Joseph, whined that if TikTok “‘were to be removed, these communities can’t just go to another spot. This is the home … and you just can’t rip that social fabric away from so many people.’” Joseph has 4.5 million followers, NBC said.
Leftist politicians and activists lobbied this week against a TikTok ban. The app is owned by Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-tied company ByteDance. The CCP owns a financial stake and board seat in TikTok’s parent company ByteDance.
TikTok and its supporters are definitely attempting to appeal to youth, too, acting as if losing the CCP-linked social media platform would permanently damage the lives of millions of young Americans. Pro-Biden TikToker Aidan Kohn-Murphy fretted to NBC News: “‘Democrats don’t understand the political consequences this [TikTok ban] would have.”
While a growing bipartisan consensus is condemning TikTok, and the previously pro-TikTok Biden administration issued a TikTok ban for government devices, some Democrats are rallying to TikTok’s defense. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), posted a video to his TikTok account March 23 enthusiastically denouncing a TikTok ban. He previously claimed, according to NBC, that efforts to ban TikTok are mere “fearmongering” that is fueled by “xenophobia around China.” Ironically, TikTok is not allowed in China, which has a different and much less toxic version of the app, Douyin.
Bowman also claimed in his video that TikTok is “educational” and helpful for mental health, despite its illustrated harms to mental health. He tried to frame Facebook as worse than TikTok, ignoring the CCP connection.
Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA), a self-described “TikTok superconsumer,” and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) also railed against a TikTok ban, Forbes reported.
In contrast, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) previously described TikTok as “potential spyware” and “digital fentanyl” for American kids.
Experts emphasized TikTok’s status as a national security risk in exclusive comments to MRC Free Speech America. Fox News China expert Gordon Chang said that TikTok is untrustworthy and that the CEO can’t necessarily guarantee how user data is used by the communist Chinese government, which requires companies operating within its jurisdiction (like ByteDance) to collude with Beijing to spy.
Meanwhile, former member of the Defense Intelligence Community Scott Kieff said that the U.S. should believe China when it reveals that it is in fact being nefarious.Former Deputy National Security Advisor KT McFarland noted the disturbing ways in which the CCP can use TikTok to influence Americans. McFarland also discussed TikTok trackers embedded in US state government websites.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact TikTok via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.