Social media-loving socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argued against banning TikTok Saturday, in her first video on the controversial app — just days after disturbing testimony on Capitol Hill detailed the company’s ties to China and its failure to police harmful content for underage users.
“Do I believe TikTok should be banned? No,” the lefty New York congresswoman says in the clip, posted early Saturday.
“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,” she continued.
The popular Chinese-owned video-sharing app has drawn bipartisan concern over possible threats to national security.
Lawmakers have said they are worried about American data falling into the hands of the Chinese government and that the app could be used to promote pro-Beijing propaganda and misinformation.
The Department of Justice is also currently investigating claims the company spied on several US tech journalists.
Still, AOC insisted that banning TikTok “doesn’t really address the core of the issues” and instead shifted the concern to US legislation.
“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 said.
“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.”
The Queens/Bronx Congresswoman also watered down the alleged national security risks and argued that if they were so serious, Congress would have received a classified briefing on them — which they have not.
“It just doesn’t feel right to me,” the 33-year-old lawmaker said.
TikTok is already banned on federal government devices, with New York currently considering whether to follow the same example for state government-issued electronics. It is also not allowed in China.
AOC’s hot take comes after TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew was grilled by lawmakers during a closely-watched House hearing on Thursday.