TikTok Politics: Candidates Turn To It ‘for Better Or Worse

unveiled on September 28, 2020 in Tokyo. TikTok may be your video-sharing platform of choice, but anyone who uses it to spread awareness about COVID-19, climate change or Russia’s aggression in Ukraine is likely to find misinformation, according to a new study. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

Wade Herring didn’t know the picky teenager who approached him at a restaurant this weekend. But he knew Herring, a Democrat running for Congress from Georgia, from a TikTok campaign video.

speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Administration Committee hearing on the impact of social media on homeland security. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

For Herring, a 63-year-old lawyer from Savannah, it’s a testament to TikTok’s ability to precisely target younger voters — a reason he and bipartisan candidates are eager to use the platform ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

See Also : https://timebusinessnews.com/traditional-computers-can-solve-some-quantum-problems/

“A year and a half ago, I thought it was just a dance video,” Herring said on TikTok. He added that young voters “don’t watch CNN, MSNBC or Fox. They get their information through TikTok, and for better or worse, it’s a way to connect with them.”

For some civil servants, it is worse.

TikTok’s popularity has grown despite concerns from Washington politicians about TikTok’s handling of user data and misinformation, as well as its ties to the Chinese government. These concerns prompted the US military to ban the app from military devices, as well as all government computers and phones.

“I have serious concerns about the Chinese Communist Party’s access to US users’ TikTok data,” Sen said. Rep. Rob Portman of Ohio said this month during a hearing on the impact of social media on national security.

However, its reach is undeniable. Two-thirds of American teens use TikTok, and that number is growing as other platforms become more popular. It is the most downloaded app in the world and the second most visited website after Google. And it’s not just about viral dance competitions anymore, it’s a place to shop, learn about beauty, fashion or sports, and even learn how to register to vote.

panel during the Senate Banking Committee’s annual Wall Street oversight hearing Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Virginia. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Martin)

The benefits of using the platform are too great to overlook, even given concerns about TikTok as a conduit for misinformation or invasion of privacy.

“People will use it. It’s a very effective tool,” said Colton Hess, founder of Talk the Vote, a 2020 voter registration and retention project reaching tens of millions of young voters. As long as it’s a game, you have to be in the arena.

TikTok is owned by Chinese company ByteDance Ltd., which moved to its new headquarters in Singapore in 2020. Questions about the company’s ties to the Chinese government have dogged TikTok despite its growing popularity.

At a Senate hearing earlier this month, representatives from both sides of TikTok’s leadership questioned the influence of government officials in China and whether the country’s authoritarian leaders control the platform’s data and content.

Vanessa Pappas, TikTok’s chief operating officer in Los Angeles, said the company protects all US user data and that Chinese government officials do not have access to it.

“We will never share data, period,” Pappas said.

TikTok also says it’s working to curb the flow of dangerous misinformation and has launched an election hub to help users find information about US elections, polls and candidates.

Defenders of the platform also point out that TikTok is not the only site that has come under fire for failing to prevent the spread of misinformation. Competitors Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube also face their own challenges when it comes to data protection.

A New York University report released this month accused four platforms and TikTok of spreading falsehoods about former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election.

“While TikTok has very high-profile policies, enforcement is highly unpredictable,” said Paul Barrett, professor and researcher who led the study.

Another study this month by NewsGuard, an online disinformation watchdog, found that about five TikTok videos of major news events contained disinformation. Videos cover topics such as COVID-19, the 2020 election, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and the January 6, 2021 attacks on the US Capitol.

According to Jeffrey Kane, senior fellow at the Lincoln Network, a conservative tech policy think tank, TikTok’s ties to China set it apart from other platforms. According to him, the country’s leadership has shown a willingness to spread disinformation that is harmful to the West, and it would be foolish to think that they are not trying to involve TikTok in this.

“When we have the technology, when we have missiles aimed at each other, it’s not a cold war,” Kane said. “Now we have smart phones.”

TikTok is not available in China. Instead, the platform’s parent company offers a similar platform with the same dance videos while promoting math and science education content, experts told lawmakers at a recent Senate hearing. Another difference: the Chinese version limits users to between 13 and 14 to 40 minutes per day. The US version, which bans users under 13, has no such restrictions.

Concerned about China’s hold on TikTok, the Trump administration has threatened to ban the app in the US in 2020 and pressure ByteDance to sell TikTok to US companies. US officials and the company are currently negotiating a possible deal that would address American security concerns.

Google Page

Google Pages
Google Pages
Google Pages
Google Pages
Google Pages
Google Pages
Google Pages
Google Pages
Google Pages
Google Pages
Google Pages
Google Pages
Google Pages
Google Pages
Google Pages
Google Pages
Google Pages
Google Pages
Google Pages