TikTok CEO Shou Chew promised major changes to his popular video-sharing app during his appearance before Congress today.
On Thursday (March 23), TikTok CEO Shou Chew made his first appearance before Congress in Washington, D.C., as lawmakers called for the app to be banned from the U.S. due to national security issues. In his opening remarks, the CEO tried to emphasize TikTok‘s independence from the Chinese government and promised to implement major changes to the video-sharing platform.
During his speech, Chew pledged four commitments to U.S. lawmakers. They are prioritizing safety for young users, enabling a firewall protection against U.S. data from being accessed from unwanted foreign entities, maintaining freedom of expression without manipulation by any government and they will give access to third-party independent monitors to ensure they abide by their commitments.
There are over 150 million U.S. users on TikTok, but its Chinese ownership—the app is owned by ByteDance Ltd.,a Chinese internet technology company—has lawmakers raising questions about security of user data and there are some concerns the Chinese government may use it as a propaganda tool.
So if the Biden Administration banned TikTok in the U.S. how would it affect rappers whose songs are often used by influencers to dance or lip-sync to?
If TikTok does get banned it will certainly affect aspiring rap artists. The platform has been a gateway for fans to discover some of today’s hottest rappers like SoFaygo, Ice Spice and Yeat. Independent rapper Superstar Pride scored a smash hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with his song “Painting Pictures,” which initially blew up on TikTok through a viral trend that pokes fun at his haircut.
@sejocentral Painting Pictures #fyp #fypシ #viral #trending #paintingpictures #rap ♬ PAINTING PICTURES – Superstar Pride
Recently, Eminem’s 2004 track “Mockingbird,” hit 1 billion streams on Spotify thanks in part of TikTok and the hashtag #mockingbird used in videos that have reached over 1.5 billion views, while #mockingbirdeminem has grabbed an additional 375 million views. Many of the users have been using the sped-up version of “Mockingbird” or lip-synced the lyrics in their videos.
@dustin.hfmnn I’ll do anything for you… #singing #mockingbird #eminem #cover #viral #fyp #fypシ ♬ Originalton – .
@nisha_owo be that parents which you wished to have <3>#eminem #rapgod #mockingbird #mockingbirdeminem #eminemedit #fyp #lyricedit #edits #edit #explorepage ♬ mockingbird –
Meanwhile, fans of TikTok hopped on Twitter to express their outrage over the hearing. Some people are amazed at some of the dumb questions several congressmen asked Chew about TikTok. It’s plain to see by their questioning that none of them use the platform or even know what it does.
“Have seen clips from the tiktok testimony and i feel so bad for the tiktok ceo. he cannot get any responses in without getting interrupted and our congress is full of a bunch of dumbasses who do not know how the internet works,” wrote one person.
“Our congressman asked the CEO of tiktok if the app can access home wifi,” tweeted another user. “If you’re gonna fearmonger can you at least get someone whos not an idiot to do so [skull and crossbones emoji].”
A third person opined, “Listening to the questions congress is asking the CEO of TikTok and seeing how out of touch with reality they are is insane.”