TikTok is a “powerful propaganda tool” that should be banned, a panelist on “Real Time With Bill Maher” said Friday night, calling the Chinese-owned app “a defense threat.”
“Imagine a brain jack inserted into the neural network of two-thirds of our youth under the age of 25, who spend more time on TikTok than every other media source combined,” said Scott Galloway, a professor of marketing at New York University. “And then imagine how easy it would be to put your thumb on the scale of anti-American content and recognize that they would be stupid not to elegantly, insidiously, covertly, raise a generation of American civil, nonprofit, military, government leaders, day by day, minute by minute, who just feel a little shittier about America.”
“If we had that tool with China, we would do the exact same thing,” Galloway continued. “This is a defense threat, it should absolutely be banned.”
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified at a Thursday hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he refused to discuss allegations that China was engaged in persecution against Uyghur Muslims.
“You have, essentially, with TikTok, the most powerful propaganda tool in history,” Galloway said, going on to note that negativity about the United States was “positively correlated” to the use of social media platforms, particularly TikTok.
“It’s not incumbent upon us to prove that they’re doing it, it’s incumbent on them to prove they’re not doing it,” Galloway added.
Annie Lowrey, a writer for The Atlantic, noted that there could be a lengthy legal battle, citing efforts by the Trump administration that were blocked by courts.
“They’re the country that puts Uyghurs in camps, they’re the country that locks you in your apartment if you had COVID, they did crazy things,” Maher said. “It’s a president for life, they’re a surveillance state.”
Maher then criticized Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York for calling efforts to ban TikTok “racist.”
“China, the new Islam,” Maher quipped. “You can’t criticize any human rights violations because it makes you racist.”
TikTok is under fire for its involvement in Chinese propaganda, the transmission of user data to China and dangerous challenges that resulted in accidental deaths. Some Democrats in Congress have come out in opposition to banning the social media app.
TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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