TikTok has launched a new website to push back against claims by the Trump administration and other critics that the social media app poses a threat to U.S. national security.
The company has additionally launched its own online informational hub and a new Twitter account designed to give it a dedicated platform for its collected responses, including those where it may need to respond more quickly perhaps in response to the president’s tweets, for example, or with other breaking news.
TikTok launched tiktokus.info, a website that organizes the company’s statements, news coverage, expert opinions, FAQs and other resources in a single destination. Oddly titled The Last Sunny Corner of the Internet TikTok makes the case for its app as a place where millions express themselves creatively. It also goes on record to flatly deny that it would ever provide TikTok U.S. user data to the Chinese government. And it spells out its commitments to areas like user safety and security, as well as its commitments to combating election misinformation and interference, among other things.
We are taking another step to continue to build trust with our TikTok community by delivering the facts in our own words and in the words of leading experts across cybersecurity, media and academia because we neither support nor stand for the spread of misinformation on our platform, or about our platform.TikTok Statement
The White House also claims that the app could allow China to track the locations of federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage. TikTok strongly refers to the growing concerns over U.S. user privacy and security as rumors and misinformation that are proliferating in Washington and in the media.
The new website highlights any coverage it deems favorable. These links range from pro-TikTok op-eds that come out against the Trump E.O. to mere write-ups about this or that TikTok star’s success, or those that detail how advertisers and brands are using TikTok’s ad technology to reach consumers. These are bundled underneath the website’s “expert opinions” section, which also features statements from civil liberties organizations and others, like the ACLU, Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, Internet Governance Project and more.
The website’s FAQ section answers questions like has TikTok ever shared user data with the Chinese government? and well, would it, if asked? Both questions are answered, not surprisingly, no. It also clarifies that TikTok U.S. user data is stored in Virginia, with a back-up in Singapore and strict controls on employee access.