Sen. Mark Warner: TikTok an 'Enormous Threat'
(Newsmax/"Eric Bolling The Balance"
By Brian Pfail | Sunday, 20 November 2022 07:06 PM EST
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the social media platform TikTok is an "enormous threat" and that parents should be "very concerned" about their children using the app.
"TikTok is an enormous threat. It's a threat on two levels. One, it is a massive collector of information, oftentimes of our children. They can visualize even down to your keystrokes. So if you're a parent and you got a kid on TikTok, I would be very, very concerned," Warner told host Shannon Bream on "FOX News Sunday."
"All of that data that your child is inputting and receiving is being stored somewhere in Beijing," Warner added, and it's difficult to "separate out TikTok from the fact that the actual engineers [are] writing the code in Beijing."
TikTok is owned by Chinese-based company ByteDance, which has spurred some concern among lawmakers about user data and the company's ties to the Chinese government.
The second threat level "is that TikTok, in a sense, is a broadcasting network" for the Chinese Communist Party, said Warner.
"The China law states that if they suddenly want to dial up the fact that we are going to decrease content that criticizes Chinese leadership but increase the content that your kids may be seeing saying, 'Hey, you know, Taiwan really is part of China.' That is a distribution model that would make RT or Sputnik or some of the Russian propaganda models pale in comparison," Warner said.
The Trump administration warned about TikTok and its influence, attempting to ban the social media platform in 2020. The Biden administration, in a move praised by China, replaced former President Donald Trump's executive orders last year.
"I think Donald Trump was right," Warner said Sunday.
Earlier this year, Warner joined Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to urge the Federal Trade Commission to investigate TikTok's "apparent deception" over data practices.
"This is not something you would normally hear me say, but Donald Trump was right on TikTok years ago," Warner told Australia's Sydney Morning Herald last month.