Dem Rep. Bowman: TikTok Concerns ‘Fear-Mongering Tactics’

On Saturday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation,” Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) dismissed concerns over the social media application TikTok.

The New York State Democratic lawmaker called congressional deliberations on TikTok part of Republican so-called “fear-mongering tactics.”

“Let me go to another subject with you,” host Al Sharpton said. “Congress held hearings on this week on a proposal to ban the popular social media app TikTok. Critics argue the Chinese-owned platform poses a serious National Security threat. You are one of the few lawmakers from either party who has vocally opposed such a ban, and you’ve expressed concern about what you call the xenophobic anti-China rhetoric surrounding the issue. Can you explain your position a little further?”

“So Republicans cannot govern on the issues, so they often use fear-mongering tactics to display themselves as being strong lawmakers,” Bowman replied. “So whether it is fear-mongering, as it deals with the border, or the debt limit, or crime, or China, this is how they govern. And I’m disappointed that some Democratic lawmakers are responding to them and acquiescing to this rhetoric. We need to take a step back, and if we want to really analyze social media, the harms that happen on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, I can argue, are far worse than what TikTok has presented.

“Facebook knew Russia was colluding with Trump in 2016 and looked the other way. They did nothing to stop this from happening,” he continued. “Our data is being bought and sold on an open market by countries like China and private corporations in other countries. So to ban TikTok is to, you know, put a Band-Aid on maybe a small scab versus what is happening in the whole social media landscape. We need a national data privacy piece of legislation, and that’s what we should be focused on, not scapegoating TikTok.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor


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