WASHINGTON D.C.: Republican U.S. senators have sent a letter to TikTok Chief Executive Shou Zi Chew about reports from Russia that TikTok continues to post Russian state-approved media content about the Ukraine war, while barring videos from those opposing the war.
“Recent reports indicate TikTok has allowed Russian state media to flood the platform with dangerous pro-war propaganda. No company should find itself in the position of amplifying the Kremlin’s lies, which fuel public support for Russia’s war of choice in Ukraine,” according to a letter, signed by U.S. Senators Steve Daines, John Cornyn, Roger Wicker, John Barrasso, James Lankford and Cynthia Lummis.
In the letter, the senators wrote that they were “deeply concerned” that TikTok “is enabling the spread of pro-war propaganda to the Russian public, which risks adding to an already devastating human toll for both Ukrainians and Russians.”
TikTok said in a statement to Reuters that the company was looking forward to answering the senators’ questions.
In March, media reports stated that TikTok, the Chinese-owned video app, said it would temporarily halt live-streaming and uploading of videos to its platform in Russia due to a new media law signed by President Vladimir Putin.
The senators have accused TikTok of failing “to equally enforce this
policy” and cited a news report that said it “appears TikTok belatedly closed this loophole on March 25.”
The senators also said that “misleading, pro-regime content that flooded the service has not been taken down, creating an easily-accessible archive of pro-war propaganda.”
TikTok, owned by Beijing-based internet technology company ByteDance, had earlier been the focus of U.S. lawmakers regarding the personal data it handles.
TikTok officials were the targets of tough questioning by U.S. congressmen at hearing last October.
TikTok has over 1 billion users globally, making it one of the world’s top video platforms.