Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) said banning the Chinese social media app TikTok would ultimately “harm [Democrats] politically in 2024.”
During an appearance on last Thursday’s airing of NBC’s MTP Now, Bowman said people would ultimately “gravitate” to a different platform or create their own if TikTok was to be banned.
Bowman then claimed many of the 150 million Americans on the Chinese social media app are young and “tend to lean Democratic,” which is why he thinks a total ban of TikTok would hurt his political party’s base.
“So if the Democratic Party is a part of shutting down a platform that they have used to build community,” the congressman continued.
“It can harm us politically in 2024. But more importantly, it can harm the American people in our sense of well-being because people find space to be themselves on ticked off that they can’t find somewhere else.”
Bowman also claimed during his interview that “there’s been no evidence” that TikTok poses a national security concern through Chinese espionage on the app, but thinks that there is a national security concern from “misinformation and the spreading of misinformation” on social media.
The congressman’s claims come after the popular Chinese social media app was also banned on United States government devices — when a provision was added to the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill President Joe Biden signed into law — for being a potential national security problem. Additionally, there have been numerous governors that have taken similar action at the state level. But, since the initial ban on government devices, many lawmakers want to take it a step further by banning TikTok across the United States.
This also comes after last week’s House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing with TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew. Members of Congress grilled him about the various concerns lawmakers have about the social media app. In one instance, Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) was able to get Chew to admit that employees of TikTok’s parent company currently have access to U.S. user data.
“Do any ByteDance employees in China, including engineers, currently have access to U.S. user data?” Latta asked, to which Chew answered, “After Project Texas is done, the answer is no. Today, there is still some data that we need to delete.”
Watch TikTok CEO Not Deny that TikTok’s Parent Company Bytedance Has Access to Americans’ Data:
House Committee on Energy and Commerce
During another instance, following Latta’s question, Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL) grilled Chew over ByteDance having access to the data of millions of Americans using the popular app.
Cammack pointedly asked Chew about access to user data, and he eventually responded, “Some user data is public data, congresswoman, which means everybody can search for it on the internet.”
Watch Rep. Cammack Grill TikTok CEO on Chinese Communist Party’s Access to Americans’ Data:
U.S. House of Representatives
Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.