This week, TikTok has launched a new information hub meant to “serve as a source of truth’ to counter rumors about the app.
According to TikTok, as seen in the above image:
“With rumors and misinformation about TikTok proliferating in Washington and in the media, let us set the record straight. TikTok is not available in China. Its US user data is stored in Virginia with a back-up in Singapore and strict controls on employee access. TikTok has never provided any US user data to the Chinese government, nor would it do so if asked. Any insinuation to the contrary is unfounded and blatantly false. Here’s what industry experts are saying across cybersecurity, media and academia.”
TikTok claims that they don’t support the spread of misinformation on their platform, or about their platform. This misinformation is what is causing the US Government to enact an Executive Order that would force ByteDance, the platform’s parent company, to sell-off TikTok to a US company.
On August 6th, The US Government identified two key threats by the app, dispite the fact they haven’t been effectively proven:
- That TikTok collects “vast swaths of information from its users”, which could be shared with the Chinese Government, potentially enabling it to “build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage”.
- That TikTok also censors content that the Chinese Communist Party deems politically sensitive, “such as content concerning protests in Hong Kong and China’s treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities”.
A number of official reports say that there is cause for concern with the US citing credible evidence. Although they say there is evidence on the matter, there has been no public release of anything specific.
“TikTok has become the latest target, but we are not the enemy. The bigger move is to use this moment to drive deeper conversations around algorithms, transparency, and content moderation, and to develop stricter rules of the road. We are taking the first step of many to address these concerns, and call on the industry to follow our lead for the benefit of users and creators everywhere.” – TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer
TikTok has begun threatening legal action against the US Government as a reaction, although no one has made a move yet.