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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to appear in front of Congress today for an antitrust hearing that will include testimony from Apple, Amazon, and Google. Zuckerberg is expended to defend Facebook as essential in winning a virtual, digital arms race against communist China, according to Bloomberg.
The Trump administration has considered banning TikTok in the US over perceived security threats. The concern is that TikTok provides a "back door" to Beijing, where user data and content are available to CCP officials.
US lawmakers have expressed interest in launching an investigation into the video app's owner Bytedance Ltd. and its relationship with the Chinese government.
TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer, upon hearing of Zuckerberg's plans, wrote a blog post where he explained that TikTok's "energies on fair and open competition [are] in the service of our consumers, rather than maligning attacks by our competitor—namely Facebook—disguised as patriotism and designed to put an end to our very presence in the US."
Mayer continued by saying that without TikTok, American advertisers would not have many options, and that "competition would dry up and so too will an outlet for America's creative energy."
Mayer said of TikTok "we are not political, we do not accept political advertising and have no agenda—our only objective is to remain a vibrant, dynamic platform for everyone to enjoy."
Bloomberg reported that Zuckerberg's testimony was published in advance, which focuses "on the broader danger of allowing tech firms from the world's No. 2 economy to dominate the online sphere."
Facebook's CEO has made efforts in the past to bring the social media behemoth into China, but found the restrictions from Beijing to be too stringent.
Zuckerberg is expected to say that "China is building its own version of the internet focused on very different ideas, and they are exporting their vision to other countries," according to the CEO's testimony that was prepared for the House Judiciary Committee.
Kyle Kashuv wrote in April for The Post Millennial that "TikTok has the facade of an innocent platform," but that it "has an enormous user base, with 1.5 billion downloads and 800 million active users," adding that "those who control the levers of what can, and cannot be seen on its platform, have immense sway."
Since about 40 percent of all TikTok users are between the ages of 16 and 24, it has the potential to act as a breeding ground for manipulating impressionable minds, including beliefs and perceptions about US politics.