WASHINGTON: TikTok’s communications team live-tweeted on Thursday as the company’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The hearing took place as TikTok faces concerns from both sides of the aisle about whether the Chinese government could influence TikTok content and harvest user data.
As Chew testified, fighting to stave off a potential ban in the U.S., @TikTokComms reiterated his main points on Twitter.
Chew’s testimony did not win rave reviews. Wedbush analyst Dan Ives wrote in a note that “we would characterize today’s testimony by TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew in the Beltway as a ‘disaster’ moment,’ saying it would likely result in more calls from lawmakers to ban the app, according to CNN.
In a thread, TikTok’s comms team tweeted that to “protect” the social media network’s more than 150 million American users, Chew has shared TikTok’s commitment to: keep safety, particularly for teenagers, a top priority; firewall U.S. user data from unauthorized foreign access; and remain a platform for free expression that will not be manipulated by any government.
@TikTokComms added that TikTok will be transparent and give access to third-party independent monitors in order to “remain accountable for its commitments.”
1/ In his opening testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, our CEO, @ShouChew, shares our commitments to protect more than 150 million Americans on TikTok.
@TikTokComms also shared Twitter posts from NowThis and MSNBC that included video snippets from the testimony.
Brooke Oberwetter, TikTok’s head of policy communications for the Americas, also live-tweeted during the event, clarifying certain points Chew made.
1/2 To clarify Shou's point about the future of Project Texas, TikTok USDS is up and running today. Project Texas is in the process of being implemented; it's a massive undertaking. We're meeting new Project T milestones all the time. https://t.co/ZPJAa3WxyO— Brooke Oberwetter (@brookeOB1) March 23, 2023
Asked if TikTok is using any other platforms to communicate during the event, Ben Rathe, who handles global safety and policy comms for TikTok, told PRWeek via email, “Your best bet is to follow the Twitter account for updates.”