Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia said Sunday that former President Donald Trump correctly labeled TikTok as an “enormous threat.”
Trump ordered a review of the Chinese-owned app, which is beholden to the Chinese Community Party (CCP), in July 2020 after the Trump administration declared ZTE and Huawei national-security threats.
Employees of TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, are required to attend monthly meetings where they are required to study the party’s policies, CNN reported in 2018.
“I think Donald Trump was right. I mean, TikTok is an enormous threat. It’s a threat on two levels, one, it is a massive collector of information, oftentimes of our children,” Warner, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, told “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream. “They can visualize even down to your keystrokes. So, if you are a parent and have a kid on TikTok, I would be very, very, concerned, all of that data that your child is inputting and receiving is being stored somewhere in Beijing.”
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Warner raised a concern about the CCP-tied app in addition to its data acquisition.
“The second problem is that TikTok in a sense is a broadcasting network in a sense and if the Chinese communist party and TikTok at the end of the day has to be reliant on the Communist Party, the China law states that,” Warner said. “If they want to dial up the fact we’re going to decrease content that criticizes Chinese leadership but increase the content kids may be seeing saying, Taiwan really is part of China, that is a distribution model that would make RT or Sputnik or some of the Russian propaganda models pale in comparison.”
Some experts described the American TikTok app as the “opium version” of the social media site, noting that the Chinese version limits its content and the amount of screen time a child under 14 years old can spend on the app.
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