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Times Square Billboard Criticizes AOC for Pro-TikTok Stance

Source: breitbart / Flickr/nrkbeta

A billboard in Times Square recently made headlines for its political criticism of U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s support for the Chinese-owned app TikTok. The billboard criticizes U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, commonly known as AOC, for her stance on the popular social media app, TikTok. This has sparked a conversation about the app’s ownership, its potential use for propaganda, and the implications for national security.

The Billboard Message Criticizing AOC

The billboard in question displays a message that is both bold and controversial. It refers to Ocasio-Cortez as “AO-CCP,” a play on her initials and the acronym for the Chinese Communist Party.

Source: Fox News Digital

This is a clear critique of her support for TikTok, an app owned by Chinese company ByteDance. The billboard implies a connection between Ocasio-Cortez’s support for the app and the policies of the Chinese Communist Party, a claim that has sparked debate and controversy.

The Book Behind the Billboard

The billboard serves as an advertisement for Peter Schweizer’s new book “Blood Money.” In this book, Schweizer details how he believes China uses TikTok as part of its “disintegration warfare” strategy against the U.S.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

He argues that the Chinese military is weaponizing TikTok to target American children and inject propaganda into their daily lives. The billboard uses the critique of Ocasio-Cortez to draw attention to these claims and promote the book.

TikTok and Disintegration Warfare

In “Blood Money,” Schweizer discusses the concept of “disintegration warfare,” a strategy he attributes to the Chinese military. This involves the use of social media platforms like TikTok to subtly influence the perceptions and behaviors of users.

Source: Medium

By disseminating carefully curated content, the app can shape the worldview of its predominantly young user base. This, Schweizer argues, is a form of psychological warfare, aimed at sowing discord and weakening societal cohesion.

AOC’s Stance on TikTok

Despite the concerns raised by Schweizer and others, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been vocal in her support for TikTok. She has argued against a total ban on the app, suggesting that such a move would be an overreaction.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Instead, she advocates for stricter regulations and oversight to ensure user data is protected and the app is not used for nefarious purposes. This stance has been met with criticism, particularly in light of the allegations made in “Blood Money.”

TikTok’s Role in Propaganda

One of the key arguments in “Blood Money” is that TikTok is being used as a tool for propaganda by the Chinese government. The book cites restricted Chinese military documents that allegedly show plans to use the app to inject propaganda into the minds of American youth.

Source: Pixabay/Geralt

This is done through the algorithm, which can promote certain videos and suppress others, subtly shaping the worldview of its users.

US Security Concerns with TikTok

TikTok has been under scrutiny due to security concerns raised by various governments and cybersecurity experts. The primary concern is the app’s access to user data and how it is stored and used.

Source: pixabay

Given that TikTok is owned by a Chinese company, there are fears that the Chinese government could access this data. This has led to the U.S. government banning the use of TikTok on government devices.

 TikTok and Its Alleged Surveillance

Beyond data security, there are concerns about surveillance. TikTok collects a vast amount of data on its users, including location data, device information, and personal interests based on user behavior.

Source: Shutterstock

This has led to fears that TikTok could be used as a surveillance tool by the Chinese government. These concerns have been amplified by allegations of censorship on the platform, with claims that content critical of the Chinese government is suppressed.

Controversy Surrounding The Ownership of TikTok

TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based internet technology company. ByteDance operates a number of content platforms that deliver information, entertainment, and inspiration. With TikTok, ByteDance has gained a massive global user base.

Source: Flickr/Anthony Quintano

However, the company’s ties to China and its opaque data practices have raised concerns. Despite ByteDance’s assurances that user data is stored in the U.S., skeptics worry about the potential for this data to be accessed by the Chinese government.

Criticism of AOC’s Defense

Ocasio-Cortez’s defense of TikTok has been met with criticism from various quarters. Some critics have accused her of a “conflict of interest,” citing that she advises a charity that received a significant donation from TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Others have argued that her defense of TikTok overlooks the app’s potential threat as a tool for Chinese-directed disinformation. Critics have also pointed out that her stance on TikTok seems to align more with the interests of high donors rather than addressing real-world issues like corruption.

Public Reaction On AOC Stance

Some users criticized her for focusing on “influencer” problems rather than real-world issues like corruption. Others, however, have praised her for advocating for new privacy policies that stop all social media platforms from regulating every moment of our lives.

Source: Medium

The controversy has sparked a lively debate on social media, with netizens expressing a range of views on the issue.

AOC’s Response To The Criticism

In response to the criticism, Ocasio-Cortez has stood by her stance on TikTok. In her first-ever TikTok video, she argued against banning the app, stating that such a move would be an overreaction.

Source: PlannThat

She advocates for stricter regulations and oversight to ensure user data is protected and the app is not used for nefarious purposes. She also highlighted that the U.S. has no significant data or privacy protection laws.

Impact on TikTok’s Popularity

The controversy surrounding TikTok and AOC’s defense of the app has had a noticeable impact on its popularity. AOC’s first TikTok video, in which she addressed concerns about a potential TikTok ban, went viral, amassing more than a million views in less than 24 hours.

Source: PlannThat

By Monday, her video had received 3.4 million views. This indicates that the controversy has not only sparked a lively debate but also drawn more attention to the app itself.

The Future of TikTok in the U.S.

The future of TikTok in the U.S. is uncertain. Legislation that would force China-based ByteDance to divest TikTok or risk a ban in the U.S. is gaining momentum in Congress.

Source: Flickr/U.S. Department of Agriculture

The bill will identify certain social media applications under the control of a foreign adversary, like China, as a national security threat. Once those apps are deemed a risk, they would be banned from online app stores. That would mean TikTok could face a potential ban.

TikTok’s Controversy Causing Debate

The controversy surrounding TikTok, has sparked a lively debate about the app’s future in the U.S. While some argue for a total ban on the app, others, like AOC, advocate for stricter regulations and oversight.

Source: Flickr/World Economic Forum

The impact of this controversy on TikTok’s popularity and the future of the app in the U.S. remains to be seen. As the debate continues, it serves as a reminder of the complex interplay between technology, politics, and national security in today’s interconnected world.

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Sally Reed

Written by Sally Reed

Sally, a dynamic and viral writer, has taken the literary world by storm with her exceptional storytelling prowess. With an uncanny ability to tap into the collective consciousness of her readers, she crafts narratives that resonate deeply and linger long after the last word is read.

Born with a creative spirit, Sally honed her writing skills from a young age, cultivating a unique voice that blends emotion, wit, and social insight. Her work spans a wide spectrum, from poignant short stories that tug at the heartstrings to thought-provoking essays that challenge conventional thinking.

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