In the aftermath of the terrorist assaults on October 7 by Hamas, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) has voiced his worries about the material promoted by Chinese-controlled TikTok.
While appearing on “State of the Union” with CNN, Murphy brought attention to the claims that the company is being used as a propaganda instrument by the Chinese Communist Party. He raised doubts about the efficacy of teaching antisemitism and hatred toward Jews as a means to combat this growing problem, especially on university campuses.
While Murphy does not deny that free speech in college is essential, he was disappointed by the reaction from university administrators. His main point was that antisemitic bigotry leads to actual acts of violence against Jewish communities and synagogues. He demanded that TikTok and other social media sites be held accountable and that the ways young people are being informed about the conflict be investigated.
In the US, some critics and legislators want to prohibit TikTok, causing divisions since other senators have spoken out against the idea, saying it’s poor politics and misguided.
Republicans have been much less active on TikTok than Democrats, both in official roles and during campaigns. In the 2022 elections, 47% of Democratic Senate candidates used TikTok, while just 12% of Republican candidates did so, according to a new study by the Alliance for Securing Democracy. While only 11% of Republican candidates used the app, almost 30% of Democratic candidates did so.
Last campaign, under the leadership of Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), the National Republican Senatorial Committee decided against using TikTok. The policy will be maintained under the committee’s incoming chairman, Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.).
The 18–34 age bracket has been the most politically engaged in the previous 30 years, and many individuals in that demographic use TikTok. With a 9-point rise over 2016, most voters in the 2020 election were in the 18–29 age bracket.