TikTok CEO To Testify In Hearing On Data Privacy And Online Harm Reduction
TikTok CEO Shou Chew will testify at a hearing before the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Thursday, March 23 at 10:00 a.m. ET.
As CEO, Chew is responsible for TikTok’s business operations and strategic decisions.
The hearing, “TikTok: How Congress Can Protect American Data Privacy and Protect Children from Harms Online,” will be broadcast live on the Energy and Commerce Committee website.
According to written testimony provided by Chew, the hearing will focus on TikTok’s alleged commitment to transparency, teen safety, consumer privacy, and data security.
It also seems to bring up the topic of misconceptions about the platform, such as its connection to the Chinese government through its parent company, ByteDance.
Chew shared a special message with TikTok yesterday from Washington, D.C., to thank the 150 million users, five million companies, and 7,000 employees in the US for helping build the TikTok community.
@tik tokOur CEO, Xu Qiu, is sharing a special message on behalf of the entire TikTok team to thank our community of 150 million Americans ahead of the congressional hearing later this week.♬ original sound – TikTok
The video has received more than 85,000 comments from users, many of whom describe how TikTok has allowed them to interact with people around the world and find unbiased news, fresh perspectives, educational content, inspiration, and joy.
TikTok is updating the guidelines and offering more educational content
TikTok is making significant changes to its platform to address many of these concerns ahead of this hearing to evade an outright US ban on the platform.
Here’s an overview of some of TikTok’s efforts to rehabilitate its perception ahead of the hearing.
Updated Community Guidelines – TikTok has updated its Community Guidelines and shared its Community Principles to show a commitment to keeping the platform safe and inclusive for all users.
In order to update the feed – TikTok recommends content to users based on their interaction with the content and creators. For users who feel that recommendations no longer align with their interests, TikTok has introduced the ability to refresh their For You page, allowing them to receive new recommendations as if they had started a new account.
STEM Feed – To improve the quality of educational content on TikTok, it will offer a STEM feed of STEM-focused content. Unlike the content that appears when users search the #STEM hashtag, TikTok says Common Sense Networks and Poynter will review the content of the STEM feed to ensure it’s safe for younger audiences and factually accurate.
This could make it more like the version of TikTok in China – Douyin – being promoted educational content For younger audiences on entertaining content.
Series Monetization – To encourage creators to create in-depth informative content, TikTok has introduced a new monetization program for series content. The series allows creators to earn income by placing up to 80 videos of up to 20 minutes in length, each behind a paywall.
More congressional efforts to restrict TikTok
The TikTok hearing tomorrow isn’t the only effort in Congress to restrict or ban technologies like TikTok.
Earlier this month, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced the Restriction (Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats to Information and Communications Technology) Act, which would create a formal process for the government to review and mitigate emerging technology risks in countries like China, Cuba, Iran, and Korea. North, Russia and Venezuela.
Organizations like the Tech Oversight Project have indicated that Congress should look beyond TikTok and investigate similar risks to national security and younger audiences posed by other Big Tech platforms like Amazon, Apple, Google and Meta.
We will follow up tomorrow he heard Closer – be sure to come back to our coverage to determine how this affects users and to predict what will happen next.
Featured image: Alex Verrone/Shutterstock