The TikTok hearings are a waste of time

TikTok may not be an honorable organization, but there are probably more important things to worry about 



The Tik Tok hearing was xenophobic and sort of redundant

LUKE INGHAM, Evergreen columnist

TikTok is not all that different to other social media platforms. Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, all struggle with the content that exists on their services.

While TikTok may deserve to be scrutinized, as do most social media platforms, the issue of social media’s impact on society probably belongs in the public forum rather than Washington D.C.

The application TikTok and the U.S. government have been at war since the days of the Trump administration.

TikTok, run by Chinese technology firm ByteDance, has been accused of a multitude of privacy infractions against its users.

According to ABC News, the app has 150 million American users, therefore, Washington D.C. views it as somewhat of a national security threat.

Social media’s toxicity is certainly an issue that needs to be discussed, but singling out TikTok over some pretty baseless claims that they are sharing data with the Chinese communist party, seems like more of a political stunt.

This past week, the CEO of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, had to testify before Congress to make a case in favor of his company.

It is not as if we haven’t seen this happen with other social media companies in the past regarding the privacy of their users.

Mark Zuckerberg very famously went through a very similar process with the Facebook trial. Zuckerberg and Facebook (now Meta), failed to prevent political firm Cambridge Analytica from harvesting data, which was used for advertising in multiple election cycles.

However, With Zuckerberg there was no xenophobia in the court room. Throughout the trial the congressional commite repeatedly did not let Chew speak to fully answer questions instead acting as though they had their answer already. The congress people did not even seem to know what they were talking about in reference to the actual app.

Many of the statements were uneducated and directed towards fear of the Chinese rather than the actual questions they could be asking.

Americans give up their data willingly every day. While some may be ignorant to the situation, most are just pretending to not see what is going on.

you would think that when a company as widely used and as powerful as facebook gets the hammer brought down on them by the government that the world would burn down.

In reality, the world didn’t burn down. Meta recovered from its privacy scandal admirably, and is probably stronger than ever.

The content that can be viewed on TikTok certainly adds to the public narrative opposing the app.

Learning how to do the ‘Renegade’ dance is treated as irreplaceable information that will make kids seem mature beyond their years.

To a passive scroller Tik-Tok is a cesspool of weirdness and concerning content, however, that is not a reason for it to be banned. The narrative that has been built around the negative impacts of TikTok have less to do with national security and more to do with a dislike for social media.

However, other countries around the world have started banning the service due to privacy concerns. While security may have been the point of the hearing in the U.S, it feels as if lawmakers didn’t build that strong of a case on that aspect.

According to the Washington Post, Chew testified that his own children are not allowed to use the app.

It feels as if people assume that if there was any unsuitable content that it would be taken down or blocked by an age limit on other applications.

Explicit content and violent negativity run rampant across social media. We have come a long way from connecting with old friends on Facebook, and it is hard to make an argument that social media as a whole benefits society.