Flip-Flop! WashPost Distances Itself from TikTok After Defending It

February 16th, 2023 5:52 PM

The Washington Post appears to be distancing itself from communist Chinese government-tied TikTok just weeks after it appeared to run defense for the Big Tech giant.

In an exclusive interview with The Post published Feb. 15, the liberal rag seemingly criticized TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew’s claim that the Big Tech platform is not the security threat a bipartisan coalition of congressional critics has alleged.

This latest Post piece stands in stark contrast to its previous reporting when it seemingly defended TikTok after several college campuses banned the app from university wifi networks, asking whether the legal efforts amounted to “political grandstanding” back on Jan. 20. “Blocking taxpayer-funded workers from accessing entertainment apps is the kind of rote, bureaucratic micro-decision that information-technology staff often perform without gubernatorial involvement,” The Post reported.

The Post’s apparently newfound position on TikTok also comes after Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on ABC Sunday’s “This Week” that a ban on the communist Chinese government-tied platform “should be looked at.” Coincidence? Probably not.

In itsThe Post referred to Shou Zi Chew’s appearance before Congress defending the platform as “the fight of his professional life.”The TikTok CEO reportedly referenced the platform’s extreme popularity among younger people as a reason not to ban it from app stores.“‘There are more than 100 million voices in this country, and I think it’ll be a real shame if our users around the world are not able to hear them anymore,’” he pontificated.

Chew added that Congress should not overlook the “value” the platform brings to users even in the face of the public security threat it poses.

“‘We have to have tough conversations on: Who is using it now? What kind of value does it bring to them? What does it mean if we just, like, rip it out of their hands?’” he added. “‘I don’t take this conversation of ‘let’s just ban TikTok’ very lightly. … I don’t think it’s a trivial question. I don’t think it should be something that’s decided, you know, in 280 characters.’”

The Post noted that it is “unclear” whether Chew’s “aggressive” strategy will pay off, highlighting the company’s desperate attempts to sway critical lawmakers.“Chew has launched a room-to-room offensive on Capitol Hill, meeting with federal and state lawmakers, journalists and think tanks in an effort to persuade critics that concerns about data privacy and censorship can be resolved without the nuclear option of a nationwide ban,” The Post reported.

Although TikTok officials have claimed that Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is an ally of the company after Booker expressed “mild support” of the company’s efforts to “work[] with U.S. intelligence,” the senator’s office did not respond to the newspaper’s requests for comment, according to The Post.

Aside from the potential security risks that TikTok poses, the platform also has a sordid history when it comes to silencing views it disagrees with, such as pro-life content.

MRC Free Speech America reported last year that TikTok permanently banned 11 pro-free speech groups, including Students for Life of America’s (SFLA) account. This marked the second time TikTok had banned SFLA, the platform claiming the pro-life account had multiple community guidelines violations without specifically listing which guidelines were violated.

SFLA said the platform also removed a video that "showed a pro-lifer saying that it was wrong that abortion supporters hope we get raped." TikTok later restored the account after SFLA appealed the decision.

TikTok also removed a video from SFLA’s account detailing the horrors of abortion. SFLA tweeted screenshots of the violation notice alongside a video showing a woman calling out Planned Parenthood. "Planned Parenthood be like 'Abortion isn't the only thing we do.' OK. You're still killing babies, my man. You ain't slick," she said. The platform said the video violated the platform's community guidelines against so-called "Hate speech." 

Conservatives are under attack. Contact TikTok via email at feedback@tiktok.com or by mail at 10010 Venice Blvd #301, Culver City, CA 90232 and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.