Rep. Rodgers Warns TikTok CEO Lying Under Oath Is A Federal Crime After Question On Tiananmen Square

[Screenshot Youtube Washington Post]

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Republican Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers warned TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew on Thursday about lying to Congress under oath while grilling him on content moderation.

Chew testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee amid pressure for TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, to sell the platform.

“Heating content is a way of promoting and moderating content. In your current or previous positions within Chinese companies, have employees engaged in heating content for users outside of China?” Rodgers asked.

“Our heating process is approved by our local teams,” Chew said.

“Have any moderation tools been used to remove content on TikTok associated with the Uyghur genocide?”

“We do not remove that kind of content,” Chew said. “TikTok is a place of freedom of expression.”

“What about the massacre in Tiananmen Square, yes or no?”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t hear the question.”

“The massacre in Tiananmen Square,” Rodgers repeated.

“That kind of content is available on our platform, you can go and search it.” (RELATED: TikTok CEO Pushes Back Against Bipartisan National Security Concerns)

“I will remind you that making false or misleading statements to Congress is a federal crime,” Rodgers shot back.

“I understand. Again, you can go on our platform and find that content,” Chew said.

TikTok restricts content that covers Tiananmen Square and Tibetan independence, The Guardian reported, citing leaked documents outlining how the site moderates content. Some content is allegedly marked as an outright “violation” of platform policies and is deleted from the app, while other content is marked “visible to self,” which means it remains on the app but its distribution is stifled.