Is TikTok Alone in its Risks? Advocacy Group Calls Out Other Social Media Giants for Similar Concerns

Is TikTok Alone in its Risks? Advocacy Group Calls Out Other Social Media Giants for Similar Concerns

Table of Content

In this article, we’ll examine the arguments made by the Tech Oversight Project, an advocacy group that urges Congress to consider the national-security and mental-health risks posed not only by TikTok, but also by other social media platforms such as Meta Platforms Inc., Google, Apple, and Amazon.

Key Takeaways:

  • Tech Oversight Project calls for holding US social media companies accountable for similar risks as TikTok
  • Group argues that focusing on Chinese ownership of TikTok is not the main issue
  • US lawmakers urged to broaden their focus on privacy protection and data handling
  • Human Rights Watch calls for transparency and regulation on all social media platforms

Tech Oversight Project’s Argument Against Social Media Giants

The Tech Oversight Project, a nonprofit organization, claims that US social media companies, such as Meta Platforms Inc., Alphabet Inc’s Google, Apple Inc., and Amazon.com Inc., possess similar risks to TikTok, including national-security and mental-health threats. 

The advocacy group argues that these platforms utilize harmful business practices and are adopting TikTok-like design features.

The Controversy Around TikTok’s Chinese Ownership

While the Tech Oversight Project is critical of TikTok, it also supports the platform’s argument that lawmakers should focus on general data practices, rather than the Chinese ownership of TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance Ltd. 

TikTok CEO Shou Chew is expected to emphasize this point during his testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The Push for a Comprehensive Policy on Privacy Protections

Some US lawmakers, such as Senators Ed Markey and Ron Wyden, have already questioned why TikTok is being singled out and urged Congress to broaden its focus to consider the abuses of US social media companies. 

They call for a comprehensive policy that addresses privacy protection gaps in the online space.

US Companies and Chinese Influence

The Tech Oversight Project’s memo highlights that US companies may not handle user data responsibly and can be used to spread Chinese propaganda. 

The memo provides examples of US tech firms’ connections to Chinese influence, such as hosting state-owned media without proper disclosure and supply-chain dependence on Chinese companies.

Human Rights Watch’s Recommendations for Social Media Platforms

Human Rights Watch has urged the US Congress to enact a comprehensive federal data protection law, which would regulate the collection, analysis, and sharing of personal data by companies. 

The organization also calls for transparency from all social media platforms, including disclosing their content moderation policies and enforcement actions related to censorship or suppression.

Conclusion

As the debate around TikTok’s risks continues, it’s crucial for lawmakers and the public to consider the broader implications of social media platforms and their potential threats to national security, mental health, and personal privacy. 

By addressing these concerns, we can work towards a safer and more transparent online environment for all users.

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Written by

Alexander Sterling

Alexander Sterling

Alexander Sterling is a renowned financial writer with over 10 years in the finance sector. With a strong economics background, he simplifies complex financial topics for a wide audience. Alexander contributes to top financial platforms and is working on his first book to promote financial independence.

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Judith

Judith

Judith Harvey is a seasoned finance editor with over two decades of experience in the financial journalism industry. Her analytical skills and keen insight into market trends quickly made her a sought-after expert in financial reporting.