Not Enough? Dems Push Communist-Tied TikTok CEO to Censor Free Speech

March 24th, 2023 5:30 PM

Leftists are once again calling for TikTok to censor even more free speech, demonstrating a complete obliviousness to the threats posed by the communist Chinese government-tied app TikTok to national security and consumers’ data.

TikTok CEO Shou Chew testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the Chinese-backed app’s handling of personal data and its potential dangers to children. GOP congressional members torched Chew over censorship and clear ties to the CCP. Some Democrats, however, had different concerns, instead calling for more censorship.

In a clear display of leftist hypocrisy, Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY) decried TikTok’s alleged censorship of the word “black” and BLM-related posts, while also calling for censorship of what she dubbed “hate” speech:

“My bill, the Algorithmic Accountability Act, would require platforms to be transparent about their algorithms, measure disparate impact, and require risk mitigation. It is vital that the diverse culture of the United States is reflected online, but I am concerned the algorithms and content moderation practices employed by TikTok are ignorant to the fundamental diversity, while also failing to remove content that is harmful, like child sexual abuse material, hate speech or domestic terrorism content.”

Spanish-language creators who allegedly spew “disinformation” or “misinformation” were also the subject of left-wing ire.

Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) called on TikTok to invest in censorship of content that is supposedly “dangerous or damaging or deadly,” particularly Spanish-language content.

“Right here in the United States, many languages are used and spoken. For example, TikTok in the United States is being used in many languages. Specifically, when it comes to Spanish language, are you dedicating more resources today than you did months ago, years ago, on making sure that you are combing through that content to make sure that if the content is dangerous or damaging or deadly, that you are bringing it down as quickly as possible?”

Similarly, Rep. Nanette D. Barragán (R-CA) pressed the TikTok CEO over the exact number of anti-free speech workers TikTok deployed to ban Spanish-language “dis” and “misinformation.”

BARRAGAN: “Mr. Chew, TikTok warns users when content is graphic and disturbing unlabeled state-affiliated media accounts to ensure the viewers aren’t seeing propaganda. Does TikTok provide similar information to Spanish-speakers, users, as well as English-speakers?”

CHEW:  “I believe so, congressman. I will get back to you on that.”

BARRAGAN: “OK. And do you know if TikTok has a specific strategy for tackling Spanish-language content that violates its trust and safety guidelines?”

CHEW:  “We do. I will get back to you on the specifics on that.”

BARRAGAN: “OK. When offensive English language search terms or hashtags are blocked for violating community guidelines in English, is a Spanish translation of the term or the hashtag automatic, automatically blocked as well?”

CHEW:  “I believe so. But let me check the specifics and get back to you.”

BARRAGAN: “Do you have any idea how many people that you might have working at TikTok that addresses Spanish misinformation?” 

CHEW: “I know ballpark it’s quite a significant team. But I can get back to you on the significant, on the details.”

BARRAGAN: “You said ‘significant,’ so are you saying it's -- you have a ballpark at all you can give us? Would you say it’s like 10% of your force or more than?”

CHEW: “It’s an important number, so I want to be precise. I’ll get back to you.”

BARRAGAN: “Do you happen to know how Tiktok, how, if TikTok can effectively ensure that Spanish-speaking users between the ages of 13 and 17 are not being targeted by ads promoting harmful content?” 

CHEW: “We have very strict policies for our users who are in the teenage age group. And um— Regardless of what language that they speak. So, we want to make sure that they are given a very safe experience on our platform, regardless of the language they—”

BARRAGAN: “Well, I know. I’m just trying to, I’m trying to ascertain resources you may be putting into Spanish speaking and Spanish language. Last year, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus met with TikTok. This was one of the conversations and a source of the discussion, was addressing Spanish language disinformation and misinformation. It remains an urgent priority for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus as Hispanics across the country increasingly turned to social media for vital information.”

TikTok is already assaulting free speech by muzzling pro-freedom thinkers and conservatives across the nation. If the left’s preferred standards are successfully applied on TikTok, or other Big Tech platforms, we can officially say goodbye to free speech online.

Conservatives are under attack. Contact TikTok via email at 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.