By Leonardo Cervantes
TikTok Chief Executive Shou Zi Chew’s March congressional hearing with the United States Congress was a disaster based on lack of knowledge and personal vendetta against the app.
Chew was personally attacked and was asked foolish questions repeatedly.
TikTok has been one of the fastest growing apps in the last few years among teenagers and millennials.
Its interface is so well received that other popular social media platforms such as Youtube and Instagram have mimicked the interface.
TikTok is filled with viral dancing and funny videos along with conspiracy theories.
The amount of idiotic questions asked toward Chew really highlights a problem with Congress. How is it possible that these congressmen speak for and represent this country when they are asking such asinine questions?
One of the questions Congress asked Chew was if TikTok supports genocide. Congress also asked Chew if TikTok has access to users’ home WiFi networks.
It goes to show how biased and personal the hearing was. Americans should be embarrassed they are represented by this Congress.
In 2011, Facebook said that it would not share user data without explicit consent.
While the thought of China having so much access to a resident’s information is a scary thought, it seems hypocritical to want to eliminate one app and not others.
Facebook has a long track record of questionable data privacy and user security.
In March 2018, the New York Times obtained documents that proved the social network had special arrangements with more than 150 companies to share its members’ personal data. Facebook has gotten exposed for selling users’ personal data.
The NYT report also exposed that Sony, Microsoft and Amazon could access members’ email addresses via their friends.
The government has never tried to ban Facebook or these other companies or issued warnings to users.
This is why trying to ban TikTok feels personal and not like Congress is looking out for its citizens.
If TikTok gets banned, what’s to stop the government from banning the next prominent social media platform that the masses love?
Ever since the rise of TikTok, many competitor social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have begun incorporating TikTok-style videos and reels in their platforms.
Perhaps the government wanted TikTok-clone apps such as Instagram to incorporate their video style in order for people to use a clown copy of TikTok instead.
Nearly every app that users download comes with a requirement of having access to their contacts, texts and web history. Most of the apps that require these requirements won’t function unless the user accepts these terms.
If the government is worried about users’ personal information being sold or put to bad use, maybe it should require these social media platforms to protect users’ personal information.
The government itself doesn’t issue a warning to users to read an app’s agreements before downloading them.
Most users don’t read the agreements because all they want to do is have the app they’ll agree to anything that will grant them access.
U.S. citizens should maintain the same skepticism for downloading TikTok when downloading other apps as well.
U.S. citizens should have some skepticism when downloading TikTok as long as they share the same skepticism when downloading other apps.
The government’s attempt to ban Tiktok feels more anti-China than it does pro-protecting American citizens’ information.