Sunday, May 19, 2024

US: Ilhan Omar opposes ban of TikTok, says “I don’t like censorship”

Ilhan Omar opposes ban of TikTok, says “I don’t like censorship”

United States Congresswoman Ilhan Omar on Tuesday has joined a group of progressive lawmakers who are speaking out against a proposed TikTok ban.

The congresswoman joins the ranks of a small group of Democratic House members opposed to banning the popular video sharing app in the U.S.

“First of all, I don’t like censorship. There are very legitimate concerns about privacy and the harvesting of private user data on social media platforms, but this proposal doesn’t address those. Instead it singles out one platform—TikTok—and bans it outright. Aside from raising legitimate first amendment concerns, this is bad policy. We should create actual standards and regulations around data harvesting and privacy violations across social media companies—like many countries around the world have already done—not ban particular platforms we don’t like,” Omar said.

She went on to say: “There are also concerns that TikTok could be used for propaganda and hate speech. As a frequent target of disinformation campaigns myself, I am sympathetic to these concerns. But again, this problem is not unique to TikTok. Twitter, Instagram, and famously, Facebook have all been used by foreign adversaries for disinformation campaigns targeting US citizens. Our regulations should address these broad issues instead of singling out one platform.”

“Lastly, there are legitimate concerns about the Chinese government—including their brutal repression of the Uyghur people and their suppression of basic rights of freedom of expression in their country. But banning one social media company based in China will not solve those problems. The American model rests on our protection of those freedoms—the ability to speak publicly against the government, or if you choose, to share a 10 second video cooking your favorite meal. That is the beauty of our democracy and our constitution. That is what sets us apart from authoritarian regimes like China. And that is the example we should set for the world,” she concluded.

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