AOC Supports TikTok, Urges Data Harvesting Ban Instead
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) came out in support of TikTok — on TikTok no less. The far left firebrand said the practice of data harvesting by social media platforms should be Congress’ target and not this Chinese app.
AOC posted a three-minute video in which she announced, “This is not only my first TikTok, but it is a TikTok about TikTok.”
She asked if she wanted the platform to be banned and replied to her own question with “no.”
The app is well known for collecting vast troves of user data, and critics charge that legally it is required to hand over any and all information to the Chinese Communist Party if requested. That apparently did not concern the New York congresswoman.
Instead, she argued that the call for a national ban “doesn’t really address the core of the issue.” Ocasio-Cortez noted that other tech companies like Meta also gather “troves of deeply personal data.”
True, but they are not beholden to Beijing to turn this data over if demanded. And there’s a quite interesting development that AOC failed to mention in her TikTok debut.
Fox News Digital reported that ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, recently gave hefty sums to nonprofit groups associated with the congressional Black and Hispanic Caucuses. The outlet said that each received $150,000 in December.
AOC, as noted by the Heritage Foundation’s Jake Denton, is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) advisory council.
And, as American Foreign Policy Council fellow Michael Sobolik said in response to her video, she merely parroted “TikTok’s talking points and ignores the app’s true threat: CCP-directed disinformation.”
University of Rochester professor Sar Haribhakti tweeted that AOC transformed the issue into one concerning “data privacy and social media.” This turned away from the true threat of “info control and influence.”
He added that the congresswoman presented a “dumb case” that will nevertheless likely appeal to her base.
As the old saying goes, follow the money. In this case, TikTok appears to have spent theirs well as they worked through a charm offensive preparing for congressional blowback they knew was coming. That AOC took the bait is hardly surprising.