(LibertySociety.com) – The long-awaited day for the testimony of the CEO of TikTok finally came on March 23rd, 2023. For over three years now, the company has been under increased scrutiny for various reasons, including ties with parent Chinese company ByteDance, allegations of spying on journalists, and allegations of targeting children to increase their usage of the platform. TikTok has denied many of the allegations, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have increasingly honed in on the company, going as far as to ban the app on all government devices.
Prior to coming to the hearing in Washington D.C., the CEO of TikTok, Shou Chew, posted a video on the platform to celebrate over 150 million users in the United States, encouraging users to comment why they love the app so that he can share the information with Congress. He also highlighted that over 5 million businesses, many of which are small businesses, utilize the platform for promoting their products. In addition, the company flew several TikTok influencers to Washington D.C. to protest the potential nationwide ban of the app, sharing what TikTok has done to influence their lives.
Mr. Chew warned users that a ban of the app is being considered by several members of Congress, and vowed to provide lawmakers with information about how the app protects American users, adding that the purpose of TikTok is to “inspire creativity and to bring joy.” Pressure to sell the company to a United States entity has grown over the last few years, but Chinese government officials stated on the day of the hearing that they “resolutely oppose” any type of forced sale of the company. according to AP.
During the hearing, Mr. Chew faced tough questions from Democrat and Republican lawmakers about various topics involving the app, with many voicing that they were left with more questions than answers. Several users on social media noted that other social media platforms are guilty of doing the same things that lawmakers are targeting TikTok for, but those platforms have not faced the same amount of scrutiny.
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