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Kamala Harris Avoids Questions on TikTok Regulation, Raises Concerns About Russian Interference

During the New York Times Dealbook Summit, Vice President Kamala Harris evaded direct inquiries regarding the regulation of TikTok. Moderator Andrew Ross Sorkin pressed Harris on the measures needed to safeguard national security in light of recent controversies surrounding the Chinese-owned platform.

Instead of providing a straightforward answer, Harris drew attention to her experience on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Harris expressed her concerns about the rampant spread of misinformation and disinformation facilitated by social media, emphasizing the need to address this issue.

Reflecting on her time on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Harris highlighted the bipartisan approach taken in their meetings, where political labels were set aside and individuals worked together as Americans.

Credits: DepositPhotos

Drawing on her committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Harris underscored the deliberate targeting of specific groups of Americans with misleading information and propaganda. However, Sorkin interjected, highlighting that the interference occurred on American-owned social media platforms during that period.

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Undeterred, Harris acknowledged the technological advancements since 2016 but shifted the focus to the nature of the interference, which primarily relied on textual content.

Sorkin persistently asked whether a Chinese-owned social media platform like TikTok, widely used in the country, should be regulated or banned in some states.

Rather than responding directly, Harris stressed the importance of taking attempts to undermine U.S. democracy by “nation-states” seriously, particularly in terms of national security.

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Credit: DepositPhotos

Despite the questioning, Harris did not specify whether China was one of the “nation-states” attempting to undermine democracy. Meanwhile, several Republican-led states have initiated efforts to ban TikTok on government devices, with some hoping to prohibit the app entirely. These actions have been fueled by concerns over Chinese surveillance and the impact of TikTok on the mental health of young users.

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