Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Executive of Facebook on Thursday criticized TikTok for Censoring Protesters, including in the United States. TikTok which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, allows users to create and share short singing and dancing videos that are set to well-known songs.
“While our services like WhatsApp are used by protesters and activists everywhere due to strong encryption and privacy protections, on TikTok, the Chinese app growing quickly around the world, mentions of these protests are censored, even in the U.S.,” said Zuckerberg while delivering an address on free speech at Georgetown University in Washington.
Moreover, Zuckerberg’s Thursday comments came two weeks after Senator Marco Rubio asked a U.S. national security panel to review TikTok owner Beijing ByteDance Technology Co’s acquisition of Musical.ly Inc, arguing TikTok is used by the Chinese government to censor politically sensitive content. However, a TikTok spokesperson in response to Zuckerberg’s comments said that the Chinese government does not request that TikTok censor content, and would not have jurisdiction regardless, as TikTok does not operate there.
Rubio also said that Chinese-owned apps are increasingly being used to censor content and silence open discussion on topics deemed sensitive by the Chinese Government and Communist Party. “Until recently, the internet in almost every country outside China has been defined by American platforms with strong free expression values, There’s no guarantee these values will win out,” Zuckerberg said.