MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough on Thursday criticized lawmakers who compared TikTok to other social media platforms.
Congress been debating a national ban on TikTok, though some lawmakers from both parties have spoken up in support of the Chinese video app. Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul split Wednesday over a bill to ban TikTok when Hawley requested unanimous consent on his bill to ban the app and Paul blocked it on the grounds that outlawing the app would violate the First Amendment.
Scarborough weighed in on the controversy on Thursday. (RELATED: ‘Garbage’: Jesse Watters Asks Sen. Lindsey Graham If He Actually ‘Read’ A Key Bill He Co-Sponsored)
“We’re not fans of Facebook, right? But we try to apply pressure. Other people try to apply pressure. So maybe Facebook becomes a better company, becomes a better corporation, and the decision’s made by Mark Zuckerberg and the board, right? But you can’t compare that to TikTok, where the decisions are ultimately made by the Chinese government. So people that are trying to [say], ‘But Meta, Facebook and YouTube’ together with TikTok? It’s just, it’s apples and oranges. It’s capitalists and communists. You can’t compare the two!”
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified before Congress on March 23, addressing TikTok’s alleged surveillance of American users. Lawmakers have raised concerns that the app poses a national security threat. A June 2022 report from BuzzFeed found that employees at TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, had repeatedly accessed non-public data from TikTok users. Chew claimed that TikTok and the Chinese government had no relations.