On Wednesday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) requested that the US authorities conduct a proper investigation into whether or not the favored Chinese video app, TikTok, poses a nationwide safety threat by censoring content material that upsets leaders in Beijing.
“These Chinese-owned apps are increasingly being used to censor content and silence open discussion on topics deemed sensitive by the Chinese Government and Community Party,” Rubio claimed in a letter calling on the Treasury Department’s Committee on Foreign Investment within the United States to conduct a full evaluate on the potential nationwide safety dangers posed by TikTok’s acquisition of Musical.ly.
It seems that Rubio is referring to experiences, like The Guardian’s from last month, outlining how TikTok’s moderators are instructed to censor movies of which the Chinese authorities might not approve. These matters embrace content material that talks about Tiananmen Square, Tibetan independence, and Falun Gong.
“Our content and moderation policies are led by our US-based team and are not influenced by any foreign government,” a TikTok spokesperson informed The Verge. “The Chinese government does not request that TikTok censor content, and would not have jurisdiction regardless, as TikTok does not operate there.”CFIUS instantly reply to a request for remark.
CFIUS didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
In 2017, ByteDance, the guardian firm to TikTok, acquired the favored lip-syncing video app, Musical.ly. TikTok had a rising person base outdoors of the United States, however ByteDance was in a position to buy a large American viewers by way of its acquisition of Musical.ly. The two video apps merged collectively, totaling round 1 billion downloads internationally.
In tweets on Wednesday, Rubio additionally referred to as on the Trump administration “to fully enforce anti-boycott laws that prohibit any US person — including US subsidiaries of Chinese companies from complying with foreign boycotts seeking to coerce US companies to conform with #China’s government views.”
Rubio’s name for a evaluate follows every week of retaliation from American followers and customers towards US-based organizations and corporations just like the National Basketball Association and recreation developer Blizzard. Over the weekend, an expert Hearthstone participant voiced help for the Hong Kong protests in a post-game interview and Blizzard banned him from tournaments for a complete 12 months.
Epic Games, the developer of the favored recreation Fortnite, informed The Verge that it will help the political speech of its gamers in response to the Blizzard backlash.
Updated at 10/9/19 at 4:14 p.m.: Included a press release from TikTok.