What’s Happening on The Hill

Mar 21, 2023

TikTok’s Taking a Stand… and the stand

Last week, TikTok’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, had his first public hearing before Congress about the privacy concerns of the app. Here are the top takeaways:

Chew repeatedly stated that TikTok is not owned or controlled by the Chinese government, and that the Chinese government has not accessed or requested access to US data. Congress said, “You’re lying,” but didn’t provide proof.
He dismissed their concerns as hypothetical and theoretical risks. Congress said they weren’t but didn’t provide any evidence to the contrary.
He outlined TikTok’s plan to store American data on American soil by an American company, overseen by American personnel in partnership with Oracle called, “Project Texas.”
He asked for evidence to be presented in regards to security breaches so that they could discuss it and none was given.
The politicians didn't seem swayed or interested in actually hearing Chew, comparing his responses to Zuckerberg’s hearing in 2018, (which only says to us that Congress STILL doesn’t understand how social media works). With an election year looming, it’s no surprise that everyone’s jumping on the trend of hating TikTok.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens next. Congress wants to move forward with next steps, but they haven’t been clear about what that means.

So is TikTok really more harmful than other social media apps? We honestly don’t know. Russia used Twitter to infiltrate and influence a Presidential Election. Facebook was predicted to crumble after massive privacy issues that led to its days in court. YouTube was targeted for its algorithm promoting extreme racism and hate videos. TikTok has invested a significant amount of money and personnel into creating a secure system for its users, especially for being such a young company.

The biggest difference is this app - the biggest social media giant - is the ONLY one not owned or operated on US soil. While portions of its operations are on US soil, that doesn’t seem to be enough.

So what does this mean for me? TBD for now. But, regardless of whether TikTok gets banned, the way in which the app has impacted HOW we consume content is NOT going away.

Even if the players shift, short-form video is here to stay. Even as we wait to see what happens on The Hill, you need to be investing in short-form content for your business and brand.

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