USAWorld News

Democrats focus on woke grievances at TikTok hearing, not national security

While most lawmakers focused on TikTok’s ties to Communist China during today’s hearing with its CEO, Shou Zi Chew, Congressmen Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY) focused on what they felt was a bigger priority: keeping algorithms from becoming racist.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee convened the hearing amid widespread concerns on Capitol Hill that TikTok, the product of Chinese company ByteDance, poses a national security risk to the United States.

WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 14: TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is interviewed at the offices the company uses on Tuesday, February 14, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

While committee member Rep. Matsui briefly acknowledged the China problem, the bulk of her remarks focused on aroused grievances about racist algorithms.

“Make no mistake, the Chinese government poses a real and immediate threat. Look no further than the vulnerable equipment still in our telecommunications networks that has yet to be torn up and replaced.

“But we cannot lose sight of the significant internet governance issues that TikTok and other social media companies represent. I am particularly committed to demanding transparency from major platforms on the algorithms that shape our online interactions, especially for teenagers and young users. »

“And that’s why I introduced the Law on Algorithmic Justice and Transparency of Online Platforms, to bring greater visibility to this ecosystem. My bill would ban algorithms that discriminate on the basis of race, age, gender, ability, and other protected characteristics.

“This bill would require online platforms to publish annual public reports detailing their content moderation practices, which I believe should be a baseline requirement for establishing meaningful oversight and consumer choice.”

The bill, which Rep. Matsui co-sponsored with far-left Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), would create an interagency task force comprised of the FTC, Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Commerce and Department of Justice, to investigate “discriminatory algorithmic processes”.

Representative Matsui also advanced a common talking point used by the post-2016 online censorship machine: that social media is responsible for fueling “political extremism.”

“Over the past few years, alarming reports from whistleblowers have shown that social media companies are intimately aware of the effect their products have on young women, political extremism, and more. Despite this, they withheld these studies or declined to investigate further. Either way, it shows a pattern of evasive or neglectful behavior that I find concerning or extreme.

Speaking later during the hearing, New York City MP Rep. Yvette Clarke expressed similar waking concerns.

“Content moderation, algorithmic discrimination, and social media platform safety issues are neither new nor unique to TikTok.”

“I share the concerns raised by my colleague, MP Matsui, regarding algorithms. I believe that without mitigating biases, platforms will continue to breed, exacerbate unlawful discrimination under civil rights law, and prevent meaningful dialogue on sensitive topics like race from happening. on the platform.

Rep. Clarke then asked the CEO of TikTok if he agreed that there should be transparency requirements for social media platforms to “identify whether policies have a disparate impact on communities that are classes protected, such as race, religion, national origin or sex. ”

“It’s vital that America’s diverse culture is represented online,” Clarke said, also saying social media platforms like TikTok must do better to weed out “hate speech” and “domestic terrorism” – a label increasingly applied by Democrats to Trump supporters.

Allum Bokhari is Breitbart News’ Senior Technology Correspondent. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.

Breitbart News

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button