The creators of TikTok are sick of how Congress doesn’t seem to understand how the internet works.
What happened: On Thursday, TikTok CEO Show Chu held a test before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he was bombarded with concerns about potential national security threats to the popular app and its ties to China. Governments around the world have banned the app from official devices, and there are fears that the app’s parent company, ByteDance, may be forced to cooperate with the Chinese government. (TikTok does not work in China.)
The tone of some of its participants was militant – the creators immediately noticed this and ridiculed.
Meanwhile, the creators of TikTok are the first to ridicule members of Congress.
“There should be an age limit in Congressreads the caption from user @rachelhannahh to a clip in which Rep. Buddy Carter, representing Georgia’s 1st District, asks Chu if the app tracks pupillary dilation as a form of facial recognition to drive algorithms.
Chu responded that the app does not use body, face, or voice data to identify users, and the only facial data the app collects is for “filters to wear sunglasses on your face.”
“Why do you need to know where the eyes are if you can’t see if they are dilated?” Carter then asked, prompting a flurry of comments mocking the congressman’s questions.
A spokesman for Carter said the congressman is not on TikTok because it poses a national security risk.
Many of the TikTok video clips suggest that members of Congress don’t know how modern technology works. They believe members of Congress are out of touch with technology and don’t know how tech companies operate in their own country, leading to easily derisive questions.
An app with 150 million US users could be blocked. Among those who have heard of TikTok, only 39% under 30 support a TikTok ban, according to the agency. CBS News/YouGov Poll released on Thursday.
U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, who represents Wisconsin’s 8th district, told CNN during a prime time special Thursday night that the government needs to decide TikTok as a threat to national security, despite the app’s popularity among younger voters.
“Republicans [and] Democrats agreed it was a threat,” Republican Gallagher, who chairs the House Select Committee on China, told CNN. “So we can’t ignore it just because of concerns about alienating some teens on this app.”
“This is a matter of national security,” he said. “We have to deal with this before it’s too late.”
This is a bipartisan opinion. The Biden administration has threatened a ban unless the app’s Chinese owners spin off their share of the social media platform.
“Bro, out of pocket,” a user using the pseudonym Whittington said in a clip of U.S. Congressman August Pfluger, representing the 11th District of Texas.
In the clip, Pfluger said the only person who brought Democrats and Republicans together was Vladimir Putin.
CNN reached out to Pfluger for comment.
The hearing may also have created a new group of lobbyists. ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, has sent more than 30 well-known TikTokkers to Washington to protect the app, according to the New York Times. informed.
Another clip which is widely shared on the app is owned by US Rep. Richard Hudson, representing North Carolina’s 9th district. Questions Understand how a WiFi connection works. The “yes or no” style of questions that were complex or downright irrelevant irritated users.
“So if I have the TikTok app on my phone and my phone is connected to my home Wi-Fi network,” Hudson asked, “does TikTok have access to that network?”
“Can TikTok access my battery to steal electricity?” one user said, taunting Hudson.
CNN has reached out to Hudson for comment.
Users also posting pov in appreplaying their versions of the hearings.
“What color is the algorithm?” said user Christian Devine in a video poking fun at some of the questions members of Congress asked Chu.
The video ended up with over a million views and over 250,000 likes at the time of this writing.
— Samantha Murphy Kelly and Brian Fung of CNN contributed to this report.