By Ophelia Garrett
As companies and governments across the world discuss and enact TikTok bans, AOC continues to defend the social media platform. And with good (for her) reason.
During the many recent debates and discussions on the safety and security of using TikTok, one of the staunchest supporters of TikTok has been Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). And why? Follow the money.
AOC is a member of and on the advisory board of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, a nonprofit entity that received $150,000 at the end of last year from ByteDance, according to a lobbying contribution report. ByteDance is the parent company of Chinese-owned and operated TikTok.
But AOC isn’t the only owned elected official defending TikTok. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) has also publicly defended TikTok. He is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, while his wife, Melissa Oppenheimer, has worked with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, which also received $150,000 from ByteDance, reports Daily Wire.
During a recent hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified:
“I am well aware that the fact that ByteDance has Chinese founders has prompted concerns that our platform could be used as or become a tool of China or the Chinese Communist Party. There have even been calls to ban us or require divestment. Divestment does not address the fundamental concerns that I have heard, as a change in ownership would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or access. This is not an issue of nationality.”
However, Zi Chew was unable to give a satisfactory answer when asked if his testimony had been prepared with the assistance of anyone from ByteDance and also admitted that the attorneys who represent TikTok also represent ByteDance.
“Banning TikTok isn’t the solution to data privacy concerns.” – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)
"TikTok’s talking points and ignores the app’s true threat: CCP (Chinese Communist Party) -directed disinformation." – Michael Sobolik, American Foreign Policy Council