Pray.com, the largest prayer app in the world, says that the popular Chinese-owned social network TikTok blacklisted it from running ads on the platform. The CEO of Pray.com says the company’s attitude “seemed malicious and unfair.”
TikTok is a social media video-sharing app created by the Chinese company ByteDance, headquartered in Beijing. The app has enjoyed meteoric success with young people in the west.
“I have been working with the Pray Team to put together a world record of prayer day,” said Pray.com CEO Steve Gatena.
“We reached out to the Chinese company TikTok to advertise with them, because a majority of our members are moms and grandmas, and everything in Pray.com is family & faith focused. TikTok has the fastest-growing user base of young people, and with our new Kids Bible Stories and World Record of Prayer day coming up we thought it would be a great fit.”
“Unfortunately, TikTok explicitly stated that Pray.com cannot advertise with them because we promote religious values.”
Gatena said his company’s experience dealing with TikTok is in stark contrast to its relationship with Facebook and Instagram, both of which he says have been helpful.
“They have employees that use our app, they run our ads, and they’re always quick to respond when we need help. It seems like TikTok is discriminating against Pray.com for religious purposes and that didn’t seem fair or in line with the inclusion we represent as a nation,” said Gatena.
“I thought this was a bit antithetical to what social networks are promoting, freedom of speech, fair platforms, etc… It seemed malicious and unfair.”
Breitbart News has reached out to TikTok for comment, but had not received a response at the time of publication.
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Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.