Jake Tapper Confronts TikTok Lobbyist Over China’s Uyghur Genocide

[Screenshot Jimmy Quinn Twitter]

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
Font Size:

CNN’s Jake Tapper confronted TikTok executive Michael Beckerman Tuesday about China’s ongoing genocide against Uyghur Muslims.

Tapper pressed Beckerman on China’s ongoing human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims. “Do you acknowledge that the Chinese government has these Uyghurs and others in concentration camps?” Tapper asked.

“That’s not something that I focus on,” Beckerman responded.

Beckerman also denied allegations that TikTok is censoring posts about the internment camps in Xinjiang.

“We do not censor content on behalf of any government,” Beckerman said. “That does not violate our content guidelines.”

“Why won’t you acknowledge that-” Tapper said, appearing to refer to the genocide. (RELATED: The University Of Oklahoma Bans TikTok From University Wifi, Devices)

“I’m just not an expert on what’s happening in China,” Beckerman said. “So it’s not an area that I’m focusing on.”

Beckerman said content about Uyghur Muslims is still available on the platform.

Tapper again pressed and asked Beckerman if he was worried about his job should he publicly discuss China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims.

“Look, I think there are many human rights violations that are happening in China and around the world. I think these are very important. I’m not here to be the expert on human rights violations around the world,” Beckerman said.

Tapper again pressed Beckerman on human rights abuses and noted that an August report from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said China has committed “serious human rights violations” which amount to “crimes against humanity.”

Beckerman said a video regarding same would “not violate our content guidelines” and said users are more than welcome to post it.

TikTok said in a statement following Beckerman’s interview that “Michal absolutely did acknowledge that there are human rights violations happening in China,” Brooke Oberwetter said, according to CNN. “But he stipulated that the determination is outside his area of expertise as the head of public policy for TikTok. As head of public policy for TikTok, his role is to explain TikTok’s approach to the content that Jake asked about, which he did several times.”

Several members of Congress are seeking to ban TikTok from operating in the U.S., with three representatives seeking to prohibit social media companies based in China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela from operating in the states. Several representatives have also expressed concern about TikTok’s collection of user data.