In a change of pace, TikTok made an accusatory statement against Facebook claiming that Mark Zuckerberg and the social media platform is pushing to get TikTok banned from the United States. The variety of social media platforms that now exist do make it easier for people choose the way they connect and interact with others. However, as the options have grown, new threats and raised concerns have emerged.
TikTok, a popular video-sharing app with younger users, has come under fire recently for its relationship to China and how it collects data. There are public and private groups who want to ban the app; in fact, the new American CEO, Kevin Mayer, has even been accused of being a Chinese puppet. However, members of the TikTok community have vocally defended the app and highlighted its benefits as a creative outlet. In the past, the influential video-sharing app has helped impact the music industry by introducing new artists while also promoting public health messages with dances.
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TikTok’s CEO recently released a statement on competition that addressed people’s concerns towards the app. At the same time, Mayer called out Facebook for its attempts at designating TikTok a threat, while Facebook is simultaneously trying to make its own TikTok knock-off. In the statement, Mayer highlights the app’s positive impact while also addressing people’s privacy fears, regarding the app’s origin and relationship with China, by showing accountability and the fact that TikTok is acting responsibly and transparently. In contrast, Mayer points to Facebook’s concerns as being less about patriotism and more the result of competition. On that point, Mayer shared, “To those who wish to launch competitive products, we say bring it on.”
TikTok To Facebook: Bring It On
TikTok has accepted that competition is necessary, and to stay ahead, the platform has made a significant effort to try and improve its reputation. While notorious for its challenges, Mayer argues that creative expression helps unite people, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. In his message, the CEO shared that TikTok has launched its new $200 million Creator Fund, and predicted that the video-sharing app will create 10,000 new jobs in America. Mayer also acknowledges that the platform serves the community while giving brands a tool that helps groups find financial success.
The statement also takes aim at Facebook for its failure to capture the same multitude of success with its original TikTok copycat, Lasso. Although, Facebook is trying again with its newest copycat attempt, Reels, which is tied to Instagram. There is even more bite in his message when Mayer explains that TikTok does not accept political advertising, unlike Facebook. Looking forward, Mayer explains that he wants to move discussions on to things like algorithms, transparency and moderation. On the topic of moderation, Facebook has recently come under fire for its moderation practices that have led to an advertiser boycott.
The statement from TikTok’s new CEO reads as both an attack on Facebook and a call for proper competitive behavior that can ultimately support a community. However, it is misguided to assume that TikTok’s absence would prevent creative expression from finding a way onto a new outlet or that American advertisers would have fewer choices. While the video-sharing platform puts Facebook in its crosshairs, the statement does not acknowledge competitors, like Byte. Interestingly enough, Byte succeeded the looping-app, Vine, and many have often argued that Vine laid the groundwork for TikTok’s success. While there is competition, TikTok is letting Facebook know that the video-sharing app has no plans on going away anytime soon.
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