‘Ambassador of China’: AOC joins TikTok to oppose Chinese-owned app being banned in US

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) announced her side regarding the debate to ban Chinese-owned TikTok in the United States and, with her trademark grasp of serious global issues, she did so by posting her first-ever video to the app.

Socialists and social media seem to go hand-in-hand, especially when it comes to influencing voters rather than informing them. So you’re probably not alone in finding surprise in the fact that, unlike fellow Squad members Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar (MN), Cori Bush (MO), Rashida Tlaib (MI) and Jamaal Bowman (NY), Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t already actively compromising national security via TikTok to shore up her voter base.

That was exactly the situation Saturday when she took to the social media platform to answer the question, “Do I believe TikTok should be banned? No.”

“The United States has never before banned a social media company from existence, from operating in our borders, and this is an app that has over 150 million Americans on it,” the lawmaker offered on her way to a justification.

@aocinthehouseSome thoughts on TikTok…♬ original sound – aocinthehouse

Her real rationale, which prompted some to suggest AOC is actually short for “Ambassador of China,” involved the elementary school logic that all the other kids are doing it.

“Major social media companies are allowed to collect troves of deeply personal data about you that you don’t know about without any really significant regulation whatsoever,” she contended and added, “The United States is one of the only developed nations in the world that has no significant data or privacy protection laws on the books.”

So, rather than just use one of her existing outlets like Instagram where she already has 1.4 million followers, she created a new profile days before a ban goes into effect on all federal devices to argue that the fact there had been no congressional briefing meant pushing for a ban didn’t pass the smell test.

“It just doesn’t feel right to me,” the New York congresswoman said.

You’d think that she might have missed the fact that TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before the House Commerce Committee this week providing little assurance that American data wasn’t being handed over to the Chinese Communist Party, but, not only did she mention it at the onset of her video, she had ripped her justifications directly from corporate media outlets.

The editorial board of the LA Times wrote, “It’s no worse than other social media platforms,” and “Harmful practices are baked into the business models of social media platforms, including Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and YouTube. An increasing number of state legislatures and lawsuits are attempting to force companies to take more responsibility for building safer products. Congress too should be wielding its regulatory authority more broadly to protect consumers, not just TikTok users.”

Meanwhile, The Washington Post did much the same after TikTok had made a financial infusion by purchasing ad space in their paper.

Of course, despite bipartisan support for banning TikTok, an app the Chinese don’t even provide their own citizens with access to, Bowman made a spectacle of the debate Wednesday by holding a press conference surrounded by influencers who make a living off the app and slammed his colleagues from the right.

“I just realized something. Republicans ain’t got no swag — that’s why they want to ban TikTok,” he tried. “Republicans ain’t got no swag. That’s the problem. And I mention that in the context of engaging young people in the democratic process.”

Kevin Haggerty


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