‘I’m Not Commenting On That’: Kamala Harris Dodges Question On Regulating CCP-Linked TikTok

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Vice President Kamala Harris dodged questions on TikTok and the threats posed by its Chinese ownership in an interview at The New York Times’ DealBook summit on Wednesday.

When DealBook Founder and Editor-At-Large Andrew Ross Sorkin first raised the topic of TikTok and what should happen with it, Harris went on a tangent about “mis and disinformation” and “Russia’s interference in the 2016 election” during the interview. President Joe Biden’s administration called for TikTok to divest itself from its Beijing-based parent company ByteDance or face a potential ban in the United States in March, but resumed negotiations with TikTok in September, The Washington Post reported. (RELATED: Biden, Xi Meeting Fails To Produce Official Agreement On Military Artificial Intelligence: REPORT)


“Do you believe a Chinese-owned social media platform which virtually everyone in the country is now looking at on a daily basis, if not an hourly basis, needs to be regulated?” Sorkin asked. “Some states are trying to ban it completely.” (RELATED: Red State Sues TikTok Over ‘Terrible Effects’ On Children And Deception About China Ties)

“I think we should take very seriously the fact that not only individuals, but nation-states take very significant measures to undermine the democracy of the United States of America,” Harris responded.

Sorkin interrupted, asking if Harris thinks China is one of these nation-states, but Harris did not address the question.

The popular video app’s parent company ByteDance maintains a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) committee and it was founded by an individual who affirmed ByteDance is a “mouthpiece” for the CCP, according to a 2020 Justice Department legal filing. Experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation the CCP wields significant influence over TikTok’s algorithm.

Furthermore, ByteDance allegedly blocked individuals with negative perceptions of China, potentially even those beyond China’s borders, from accessing TikTok, according to a report by the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC).

“You don’t have a specific view on TikTok itself?” Sorkin queried.

“I’m not commenting on that,” Harris replied.

Harris said she is not on TikTok but many of her family members are.

“Do you tell them to get off?” Sorkin asked incredulously.

“You know, you can tell young people in your family all kinds of things to do,” Harris replied, chuckling.

TikTok and ByteDance personnel can allegedly view the private connections of a vast array of politicians, Forbes reported in September. The platform also has a social graph tool that displays people’s connections, including members of President Joe Biden’s family, governors, senators and state attorneys general.

Osama bin Laden’s 2002 letter justifying the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon recently went viral, with TikTok users reading the letter and giving positive reactions to it before the platform cracked down on the trend.

The White House, TikTok and ByteDance did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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