The US Senate questions TikTok, Meta, YouTube and Twitter on security and disinformation

Company spokespersons already knew the questions in advance, but didn’t answer the hottest ones

The US Senate, through its Homeland Security Committee, has convened Meta, TikTok, YouTube and Twitter to discuss security, privacy, disinformation and more. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, was also in attendance. TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas testified before the Senate for the first time. The question was born with the intent to investigate the impact of social media on national security and touched on various topics such as extremism and disinformation on very important topics. The Senate asked each company for the number of employees working full-time on safety but all four declined to answer, although they knew the questions in advance. Twitter alone claimed to have 2,200 people working in that area, without clarifying whether they perform other types of duties.

Pappas was very evasive when asked about the links between TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, and the Chinese government. The connections are proven that the COO has avoided answering too direct questions on the subject, focusing on the fact that the US branch of the company is separated from the activities in the motherland. When asked directly if there were any Chinese Communist Party members in ByteDance, Pappas did not reply but said that no “strategic decisions” were made under the party’s influence.