TikTok is currently entering a world of agony. You should anticipate TikTok to become a significant political talking point as the 2024 election season picks up because this research comes at a time when a substantial segment of Americans wants to outright ban the app.
The findings of an internal probe were made public by ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, on Thursday. Yes, the company said that four of ByteDance’s employees in China did indeed steal the data from two TikTok accounts that belonged to American journalists. And TikTok wasn’t designed to act in that manner.
High-profile opponents of TikTok, like Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, whose measure to outlaw the app on U.S. government devices recently cleared the Senate, feel emboldened by the findings. The House of Representatives still needs to pass that bill for it to become law, but states like Texas, North Dakota, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Maryland require it. The list continues with South Carolina, New Hampshire, Utah, West Virginia, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Tennessee, Alabama, Virginia, Nebraska, and Montana having already passed laws outlawing TikTok on official devices on a statewide level.
TikTok is being utilized as something much scarier
Notably, the study leaves out equally incriminating information regarding what was done with the data. If that’s what you’re picturing, it probably wasn’t printed up, clipped into a dossier, and given to Xi Jinping personally. Instead, it appears that a small group of ByteDance employees who were looking for internal leakers. It discovered American journalists’ user information and IP addresses in a futile. But brilliant attempt to determine whether ByteDance employees suspected of leaking were ever near the journalists. In the end, that didn’t happen, and reportedly everyone involved in this effort was dismissed.
However, Hawley and his ilk have made it clear that they believe TikTok is being utilized as something much scarier. A spying tool for the Chinese Communist Party. To give one example at random, Hawley’s fellow Republican Senator Ted Cruz noted in a tweet. He noted that TikTok frequently “dodges” questions about the communists and claims that “it’s clear they’re spying on users.”
U.S team made some broad assertions
At this point, it might be a stretch to claim that there is proof that TikTok is a component of China’s grand scheme to make Americans communist. But is simply getting the data a scandal in and of itself? Absolutely.
That’s because TikTok’s U.S. team made some broad assertions regarding data security in 2019. When it was still a new internet phenomenon and news articles about it frequently raised questions. The questions were about its ties to the Chinese government. The most crucial of these assertions is that U.S. user data is stored here rather than at ByteDance’s headquarters in China.
Marco Rubio is another prominent member of the anti-TikTok movement in the Senate. He filed a measure immediately before releasing the most recent report that would outlaw TikTok nationally. Unfortunately, Rubio goes pretty over the top in his press statement regarding the legislation. “We know it answers to the People’s Republic of China. No more time is wasted on meaningless negotiations with a CCP-puppet company.”