AOC posts first TikTok in support of the app, says ban ‘doesn’t feel right’

As a potential TikTok ban looms, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) gave her response in a unique way: by posting her first video on the social media platform.

“This is not only my first TikTok, but it is a TikTok about TikTok,” Ocasio-Cortez said in her introduction, adding “Do I believe TikTok should be banned? No.”

The New York Democrat said banning the popular video-sharing app would be an “unprecedented” move.

“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,” she said in her video. “And this is an app that has over 150 million Americans on it.

Her post comes after lawmakers from both sides of the aisle grilled TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew on Thursday on ways his company plans to address recent security concerns raised about the social media app.

Criticisms surrounding the app and it’s Chinese-based owner ByteDance, were notably bipartisan during Chew’s testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, including concerns around national security threats, data privacy, the spread of misinformation and the safety for 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 in her video.

The outspoken Democrat claimed that banning TikTok wasn’t a solution, pointing to other major social media companies that also collect “troves of deeply personal data” without a user’s knowledge or significant regulation.

“In fact, the United States is one of the only developed nations in then world that has no significant data or privacy protection laws on the books,” she argued, later adding “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.”

“Usually when the United States is proposing a very major move, that has something to do with signifiant risk to national security, one of the first things that happens is that Congress receives a classified briefing,” she continued, claiming that it had not happened yet. “So why would we be proposing a ban regarding such a signifiant issue without being included on this at all? It just doesn’t feel right to me.”

She said if a decision to ban TikTok was that important to national security, the public deserves to know what kind of information could potentially be leaked by the platform. Ocasio-Cortez also reiterated her point that all platforms should be looked into.

“We are a government by the people and for the people,” she said, adding “I think a lot of this is putting the cart before the horse.”

“Our first priority should be in protecting your ability to exist without social media companies commodifying every single piece of data about you,” Ocasio-Cortez added.

TikTok issued updated community guidelines earlier this week which the company said will focus on improving content moderation on the platform.

Some of the key changes include updating the company’s rules on how it evaluates content created or altered by artificial intelligence technology and providing more details about the work it does to protect civic and election integrity.

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Sunday shows preview: 2024 inches closer as possible Trump indictment looms; TikTok fight heats up

With the 2024 presidential election inching closer, the looming potential indictment of former President Trump is likely to dominate the Sunday morning talk show circuit this weekend, alongside discussions of a potential TikTok ban.

After suggesting last weekend that he could be arrested as soon as Tuesday in the Manhattan district attorney’s hush money probe, Trump ignited a political firestorm. 

Republican lawmakers slammed the potential indictment as “politically motivated” and an “abuse of power,” with some even calling for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) to be arrested for “prosecutorial misconduct.”

Several House Republican chairmen also demanded that Bragg appear before Congress and turn over documents and communications about the case.

The investigation centers on a $130,000 payment that was made to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election in an effort to buy her silence about an alleged affair with the former president.

Trump’s remarks appear to have been premature, as the Manhattan grand jury assembled in the case ultimately did not meet on the matter this week. Bragg on Thursday criticized the former president for creating a “false expectation” of arrest and slammed Republican lawmakers’ demands for him to testify as an “unlawful incursion” into his ongoing investigation.

However, the former president and 2024 Republican presidential candidate doubled down on his attacks on the looming indictment on Friday, suggesting that filing charges against him could result in “potential death & destruction.”

Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina, who has been making the rounds on TV to defend the former president, similarly claimed that it would be “an all-out war”  if Trump were indicted. Tacopina is set to join NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

Preet Bharara, a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York who was fired by Trump, is also set to make an appearance on “Meet the Press” this weekend. Bharara has previously chimed in on Trump’s potential for charges from the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigations.

Matthew Whitaker, former acting U.S. attorney general under Trump, will also likely discuss the potential indictment during his appearance on “Fox News Sunday” this weekend. He has repeatedly criticized Bragg in a series of interviews this week and described the case as “weak.”

Following TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew’s testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday, discussions of a potential TikTok ban are also likely to feature heavily on the Sunday shows.

As concerns have emerged about potential national security threats posed by the app and its Chinese-based owner ByteDance, some lawmakers have called for a ban on the social media app.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who will make appearances on CBS’ “Face the Nation” and CNN’s “State of the Union” this weekend, introduced bipartisan legislation alongside Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) that would give the federal government more power to regulate or ban technology, like TikTok, that is linked to foreign adversaries.

“TikTok is an enormous threat,” Warner said in an interview in November, adding, “It is a massive collector of information, oftentimes of our children. They can visualize even down to your keystrokes. So, if you’re a parent and you got a kid on TikTok, I would be very, very concerned.”

Chew attempted to assuage lawmakers’ concerns about the app during Thursday’s 5-hour hearing but appeared to have little success. 

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), who will also join CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, said in her opening statement at the hearing that U.S. lawmakers “aren’t buying” Chew’s assurances.

Below is the full list of guests scheduled to appear on this week’s Sunday talk shows:

ABC’s “This Week” — Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.)

NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Joe Tacopina, a lawyer for Donald Trump; Preet Bharara, a former U.S. attorney in New York; Gov. Spencer Cox (R-Utah)

CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.); Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas); National Security Council spokesman John Kirby; Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis; former Homeland Security secretaries Jeh Johnson and Michael Chertoff; Bill Bratton, a former New York City police commissioner

CNN’s “State of the Union” — Warner; Reps. James Comer (R-Ky.), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.)

“Fox News Sunday” — Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas)

Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” — Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.); former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.); Matt Taibbi, independent journalist; Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law professor emeritus; Matthew Whitaker, former acting U.S. attorney general

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