Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Can Think Tanks Save TikTok?

TikTok is hoping that meetings with influential DC groups and officials, including think tanks, will help prevent it from being banned in the US.  Here is more from the New York Times:

Last week, TikTok’s chief executive, Shou Zi Chew, met with several influential think tanks and public interest groups in Washington, sharing details on how his company plans to prevent data on American users from ever leaving the United States. And the company’s lobbyists swarmed the offices of lawmakers who have introduced bills to ban the app, telling them that TikTok can be trusted to protect the information.

In a 24-hour visit to Washington last week, Mr. Chew held four back-to-back 90-minute meetings with think tanks like New America, academics and public interest groups such as Public Knowledge. In the company’s temporary WeWork suites near Capitol Hill, Mr. Chew and Mr. Andersen outlined the promises in Project Texas in a presentation with graphics on how the data is stored in Oracle’s cloud and TikTok’s appointment of a content moderation board and auditors.


Think Tank Watch is pretty sure that TikTok did not meet with the Heritage Foundation, which recently tweeted: "This is your daily reminder to delete TikTok."

Scholars at the think tank have also written several anti-TikTok pieces, including one here and here.