TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew recently faced a barrage of questioning from lawmakers on Capitol Hill regarding the safety, privacy, and security threat of the Chinese Communist Party-controlled app. There are reportedly 150 million TikTok users in the United States. Should the CCP have a direct line to influencing the minds and behavior of 45 percent of America’s population?
Influencing youth influences culture. The TikTok algorithm is designed to be addictive and allows trends that promote dangerous behavior among youth. In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission fined TikTok $5.7 million for collecting data from minors. TikTok is also beholden to the CCP and therefore forced to comply with the surveillance demands of the regime. This led the DOJ and FBI to order an investigation into TikTok over the alleged surveillance of journalists. Will Congress ignore the harms of the app or take this opportunity to do something meaningful?