Facebook CEO Thinks Chinese Social Media App TikTok Is A Threat To Democracy

Zuckerberg publicly comes out against TikTok Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, called China-based app TikTok a “threat to democracy.” Zuckerberg blasted the app for censoring content...

(Photo Credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Zuckerberg publicly comes out against TikTok

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, called China-based app TikTok a “threat to democracy.” Zuckerberg blasted the app for censoring content unfavorable to the Chinese government, especially news about pro-democracy protests.

He praised WhatsApp, a rival messaging app, for allowing protesters to connect and communicate. TikTok, on the other hand, prohibits such communication, Zuckerberg said.

“While our services like WhatsApp are used by protesters and activists everywhere due to strong encryption and privacy protections, on TikTok, the China-based app growing quickly around the world, mentions of these same protests are censored, even here in the US,” Zuckerberg said. “Is that the internet we want?”

Zuckerberg made the comments about TikTok after affirming Facebook’s commitment to First Amendment-protected free speech. A spokesperson for TikTok denied that the app censors pro-democracy content or takes orders from the Chinese government.

“Our content and moderation policies are led by our US-based team and are not influenced by any foreign government. The Chinese government does not request that TikTok censor content, and would not have jurisdiction regardless, as TikTok does not operate there. To be clear: We do not remove videos based on the presence of Hong Kong protest content,” the TikTok spokesperson said.

Zuckerberg pointed out that a decade ago, all of the top ten networking apps were U.S.-based. Now, six of the ten are Chinese–and those apps are censored by the Chinese government, Zuckerberg said.

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