Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rejected banning TikTok in her first TikTok video, saying it 'just doesn't feel right to me'
- Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez discussed calls to ban TikTok in her debut on the app.
- The New York Democrat said the bipartisan push to ban TikTok in the US "doesn't feel right to me."
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said TikTok should not be banned in her first video on the app Saturday.
The New York Democrat started her video by saying: "This is not only my first TikTok, but it is a TikTok about TikTok. Do I believe TikTok should be banned? No."
"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," Ocasio-Cortez said. "And this is an app that has over 150 million Americans on it."
Her video, which has had about 3 million views and 545,000 likes, came two days after TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before Congress. Several politicians did not appear interested in listening to full answers from the executive, as the hearing quickly devolved into a bloodbath of "yes or no" questions.
Some thoughts on TikTok…♬ original sound - aocinthehouse
A potential ban of TikTok also centres on concerns around data privacy, the spread of misinformation, 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.
The New York Democrat noted that major social media companies like Meta also collect "troves of deeply personal data." She pointed out that the US doesn't have "significant data or privacy protection laws," before mentioning the European Union's data privacy law, known as the General Data Protection Regulation.
"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," Ocasio-Cortez said.
She said issues that posed a significant risk to national security usually triggered a classified briefing for Congress, which had not happened. "So why would we be proposing a ban regarding such a significant issue without being clued in on this at all? It just doesn't feel right to me."
Ocasio-Cortez concluded: "I think a lot of this is putting the cart before the horse because our first priority should be in protecting your ability to exist without social media companies harvesting and commodifying every single piece of data about you, without you, and without your consent."
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