“It is a CCP, a Chinese Communist Party spy app, and Americans are using it. They should get off.” Heritage Foundation’s Kara Frederick emphasized the national security risks of TikTok on Fox News Tuesday.
There is an increasing bipartisan call from lawmakers to ban Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-tied TikTok. TikTok is one of the most popular social media apps in the U.S., despite recent revelations that Chinese employees at CCP-controlled ByteDance can access U.S. TikTok user data. Frederick did not mince words about TikTok on Fox News.
“There’s no excuse at this point,” she said on Fox & Friends. “We know from leaked data, from leaked audio, from reports, that Chinese officials, via ByteDance, its parent company, have decided to monitor the specific locations of Americans” using TikTok.
Co-host Brian Kilmeade noted that American TikTok is filled with junk content, or “escapism,” especially compared to its Chinese counterpart (Douyin). Yet the proportion of adults aged 18-29 who use TikTok for news content in the U.S. has spiked from 9 percent in 2020 to 26 percent in 2022, Kilmeade noted. President Joe Biden has invited TikTok influencers to the White House.
Frederick said Democrats like Biden “absolutely realize” the national security risks of TikTok, but are so “reflexively anti-Trump” that they don’t care. “Given the national intelligence law that China has … private companies have to give information to the Chinese Communist Party,” Frederick explained. But after Trump’s executive order targeting TikTok, lawmakers have cared more about opposing Trump than about TikTok’s risks, she indicated.
Lawmakers are also “court[ing] the younger generation” on TikTok, trying to gain future voters, Frederick added. “The Democratic Party wants those voters, so they’re using this platform over and over again,” she said. Kilmeade asked if Democrats were sacrificing national safety in exchange for Gen Z voters.
“That’s exactly right,” Frederick agreed. “It’s a pattern. [Democrats] want political gain at the expense of U.S. national security.”
Kilmeade agreed the success of TikTok has platforms like Instagram and struggling SnapChat desperately trying to keep up. “The secret sauce to TikTok, though, is in their machine-learning algorithm,” Frederick said. “Thus far other companies haven’t been able to replicate it.”
Ultimately, Frederick’s core point was that banning TikTok is long overdue. “How long do we have to wait?” she asked.
Heritage Foundation is a member of Media Research Center’s Free Speech Alliance.
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