(JustPatriots.com)- During an exchange of words about the availability of particular content on the platform, the House committee chairman conducting a hearing on TikTok on Thursday reminded the CEO of the company that supplying misinformation to Congress is a federal crime.
The admonition issued by Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who is in charge of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, came as CEO Shou Zi Chew discussed the availability of content about the Tiananmen Square massacre that occurred in 1989 when pro-democracy protests in Beijing that were crushed by Chinese authorities.
The Chinese Communist Party has attempted to restrict online and offline discussions of the massacre, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of people.
McMorris Rodgers initially questioned chew regarding whether TikTok had utilized algorithm tools that edited content and removed posts on the platform regarding the treatment of the Uyghur ethnic group in the Xinjiang province by the Chinese government. The United States has characterized it as a humanitarian crisis and a genocide.
Chew replied that we do not remove the content of that kind and that TikTok is a place where “you can express yourself freely.”
After that, McMorris Rodgers inquired as to whether any content regarding the massacre in Tiananmen Square had been removed, to which Chew responded that that kind of content regarding the killings was accessible on the platform.
Rodgers reminded him of the felony statute, which states that misleading congress with false statements is a federal offense.
Chew insisted that he understood that such content was available and that a search on the platform would reveal content about the massacre.
In 2019, The Guardian reported that internal TikTok documents revealed restrictions on specific topics, such as the events of Tiananmen Square, that the Chinese government does not want to be discussed.
TikTok has stated that the government does not dictate content moderation choices. Chew has sworn that TikTok is not at all controlled by the Chinese government, even though it is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company that the U.S. has been concerned with because of the security of user data.