TikTok star urges US to force sale after witnessing 'terrifying' algorithm amid Israel-Palestine war - Hindustan Times
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TikTok star urges US to force sale after witnessing 'terrifying' algorithm amid Israel-Palestine war

ByAditi Srivastava
Apr 21, 2024 05:43 AM IST

TikTok influencer supports US government push for platform sale amid concerns over misinformation and radical content.

Imagine speaking out against the platform that enables you to earn a living. A popular TikTok creator, known for amassing a large following on the Chinese-owned app, has voiced support for a US government push to force its sale. This comes on the heels of White House representatives passing a bill that could lead to a permanent TikTok ban in America. Meanwhile, the influencer, citing firsthand concerns, is urging American officials to take action.

A girl shows a mobile phone where Tik Tok reports problems to be accessed, in Bishkek on April 19, 2024. The ban in Kyrgyzstan -- a small, ex-Soviet country of seven million people -- is just one small part of a global backlash from politicians and regulators to the app's surging popularity. Owned by Chinese group ByteDance, TikTok is embroiled in a string of battles over issues ranging from the mental health effects of the app to the data it allegedly scoops up from users. (Photo by Vyacheslav OSELEDKO / AFP)(AFP)
A girl shows a mobile phone where Tik Tok reports problems to be accessed, in Bishkek on April 19, 2024. The ban in Kyrgyzstan -- a small, ex-Soviet country of seven million people -- is just one small part of a global backlash from politicians and regulators to the app's surging popularity. Owned by Chinese group ByteDance, TikTok is embroiled in a string of battles over issues ranging from the mental health effects of the app to the data it allegedly scoops up from users. (Photo by Vyacheslav OSELEDKO / AFP)(AFP)

White House passes the bill, threatens to ban TikTok

The world’s most popular musical video service, which has been accused of spreading ‘Hamas hate speech and luring young Americans toward radical Islam,’ was on the verge of being banned from the United States market. This comes after the House of Representatives voted on April 21 to pass the updated “Disinvest-or-Ban” bill, which could be the first time the U.S. government has ever passed a bill to shut down a social media platform.

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TikTok star’s urgent appeal: 'I Am Terrified of What I'm Seeing'

Zach Sage Fox, a comedian and actor who makes money from TikTok and has more than one million followers on the platform thanks to his stand-up videos, explained why the app should be banned. The social media influencer acknowledged the risks associated with the widely-used video-sharing platform, even though he understood the potential effect on his earnings if the app were to face a ban.

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“I am terrified of what I am seeing on TikTok,” Zach told the post on April 19. “In the last few months, in regard to the Israel-Palestine conflict, for all the biggest sources of misinformation, TikTok is just a gold mine,” he added after the news of the White House passing the bill surfaced.

Stating that he has been witnessing some strange algorithm, Zach continued, “It seems like there is something happening in the algorithm that is very much trying to soil the West.”

Will TikTok be banned from the US?

The bill, which requires ByteDance, the app’s owner, to divest within 9 months, was passed overwhelmingly by the House of Representatives, 360 to 58, after months of heated debate at the White House. With roughly 150 million users in the United States, TikTok has become a popular platform. However, lawmakers have grown increasingly concerned about the influence of the platform's “Chinese Communist owners.” Recent controversies include the promotion of Osama Bin Laden content and the encouragement of dangerous activities among young users, such as strangulation.

“The forced sale of TikTok represents a bipartisan breakthrough against the CCP’s most powerful tool of information warfare against the United States,” as per Rep. Ritchie Torres who spoke to The Post. No longer will Congress stand by idly while the CCP freely weaponizes TikTok to corrupt the minds of young Americans, radicalize Americans against their own country, and amplify antisemitism on a scale and at a pace not seen in human history.” He added.

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