Everyone's favorite representative from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, joined TikTok this weekend to show her support for the Chinese company.
Here she is in her first TikTok video:
I will first say that I agree with some of the points she makes in the video.
We should address the amount of private data that social media is harvesting from Americans, and while we're at it, let's add some solid curbs on our government harvesting that data too.
Heck, let's revisit The Patriot Act and get out of the business of spying on Americans altogether.
However, there was a lot more than civilian data privacy at issue in the congressional committee.
There was also the problem of the Chinese government having access to the data of government officials' devices because of things like keystroke tracking--on someone like a Congresswoman from New York, for example.
Also, there's the issue of TikTok pushing American teens to view videos encouraging suicide and dangerous, sometimes deadly, challenges.
But in typical AOC fashion, she said the U.S. should be more like the European Union and punish all the big corporations:
The EU for example has the GDPR, which really forces in the strongest amount of protection on individual users and the amount of data that companies can collect on you without your knowledge.
The minimum fine for a GDPR violation is $20M or 4% of global revenue, whichever is higher.
That's a lot of money.
Meta for example was supposed to pay a GDPR fine of $4 billion for privacy issues, but through some fancy lawyering, got that fine down to $410 million.
Just so you know, the EU's GDPR is why we know as much as we do about the Chinese use of TikTok as spyware.
There's been an ongoing transparency investigation into TikTok in the EU since 2021, and TikTok has been shifting around its terms of service trying to meet the regulation's requirements and avoid a Meta-level fine, without giving up its spyware capabilities and getting in trouble with the Chinese government too.
Europe has been able to piece together a lot of the issues brought up in the congressional hearing from this shuffling, including TikTok shipping all their users' info back to China.
Now, it's tempting to just assume AOC is ignorant about TikTok.
She's never been one to present herself as being well-informed or understanding things.
However, her new support of TikTok has also brought to light TikTok lobbying money that seems to be connected to the congresswoman.
AOC sits on the advisory council of the Congressional Hispanic caucus, and they just got some campaign finance money to the tune of $150,000 from ByteDance, TikTok's parent company.
Geez! I'm no fan of the company, but give me $150K and a burner phone, and I'll stump for TikTok too.