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Ocasio-Cortez shows support for TikTok with her first TikTok post, says ban ‘doesn’t feel right’

With the possibility of a TikTok prohibition approaching, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) expressed her opinion in an unusual manner – by uploading her inaugural video on the social media app.

“This is not only my first TikTok, but it is a TikTok about TikTok,” Ocasio-Cortez said in her introduction, adding “Do I believe TikTok should be banned? No.”

The Democrat from New York stated that prohibiting the widespread video-sharing application would be an exceptional and unparalleled action.

“I think it’s important to discuss how unprecedented of a move this would be. The United States has never before banned a social media company from existence, from operating in our borders,” she said in her video. And this is an app that has over 150 million Americans on it.

After legislators from both parties questioned TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew on Thursday about how his company intends to tackle recent security concerns related to the social media platform, the New York Democrat shared her post.

During Chew’s appearance before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, criticisms regarding the app and its Chinese parent company ByteDance were notably nonpartisan, with concerns ranging from national security risks, data privacy, the dissemination of false information, and the safety of minors.

“They say because of this egregious amount of data harvesting, we should ban this app. However, that doesn’t really address the core of the issue,” Ocasio-Cortez said in her video.

The vocal Democratic representative argued that prohibiting TikTok would not be an effective solution and cited other prominent social media firms that similarly amass significant amounts of deeply personal data without user consent or sufficient regulation.

“In fact, the United States is one of the only developed nations in then world that has no significant data or privacy protection laws on the books,” she argued, later adding “So to me, the solution here is not to ban an individual company — but to actually protect Americans from this kind of egregious data harvesting that companies can do without your significant ability to say no.”

“Usually when the United States is proposing a very major move, that has something to do with signifiant risk to national security, one of the first things that happens is that Congress receives a classified briefing,” she continued, claiming that it had not happened yet. “So why would we be proposing a ban regarding such a signifiant issue without being included on this at all? It just doesn’t feel right to me.”

Ocasio-Cortez maintained that if the decision to ban TikTok was deemed crucial to national security, then the public should be informed about the kind of data that may potentially be leaked by the app. She also emphasized that all social media platforms should be scrutinized in a similar manner.

“We are a government by the people and for the people,” she said, adding “I think a lot of this is putting the cart before the horse.”

“Our first priority should be in protecting your ability to exist without social media companies commodifying every single piece of data about you,” Ocasio-Cortez added.

TikTok released revised community guidelines earlier this week, which the company stated would prioritize enhancing content moderation on the app.

Some of the significant alterations include revising the company’s criteria for assessing content generated or edited by artificial intelligence technology and offering more information about its efforts to safeguard civic and election integrity.

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