TikTok’s comms team tweets through it as CEO testifies before Congress


TikTok’s head of policy comms for the Americas clarified points made by CEO Shou Zi Chew during Thursday’s hearing.

TikTok's CEO did not get a warm welcome from Congress on Thursday morning. (Photo credit: Getty Images).

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.”

— TikTokComms (@TikTokComms) March 23, 2023

@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. 

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.”

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