Rick Scott, Marco Rubio fear TikTok could tip November election
Image via Getty.

Tik Tok media App Illustration
Senators say technology is a Chinese trojan horse.

U.S. Senators from Florida continue to thump the drum against TikTok, expressing grave concerns about the technology and national security.

The latest cause for worry: potential election interference via the platform.

Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, along with Republican Senate colleagues Ted CruzTom CottonKevin Cramer and Joni Ernst, wrote the Director of National Intelligence, the FBI head, and the head of Homeland Security with grave concerns.

The Senators are “greatly concerned the Chinese Communist Party could use its control over TikTok to distort or manipulate conversations to sow discord among Americans and to achieve its preferred political outcomes.”

“Beijing exploits the openness of western democracies and social media platforms to propagate the party’s preferred narratives,” the letter reads. “Chinese government officials increasingly use western social media companies, including those banned in China, to flood global social media with propaganda and misinformation.”

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The Senators urged the Trump administration to consider the possibility of TikTok being used to “amplify or suppress” political messages on behalf of the Chinese government.”

As well, if evidence exists of election interference from the company, the Senators wonder if sanctions are possible.

The push comes as the Republican-controlled Senate is considering legislation banning the technology from governmental employees phones and devices.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs approved the bill, and the House of Representatives has already approved similar legislation.

The ban would apply not just to TikTok itself, but also to any successor technology from TikTok parent company ByteDance.

Exceptions would be made, however, for counter-surveillance and intelligence activities, as well as for investigations and disciplinary activity.

One country has already instituted a full-scale ban of the technology

India, as the BBC reported, banned a swath of Chinese apps in June, saying they were “mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defense of India.”

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at [email protected]


7 comments

  • Diane Wilson

    July 29, 2020 at 2:33 am

    Wow! Just read 3 of your pieces in a row at 2 in the morning. Great reading! I definately will be looking for more on Floridapolitics.com. Glad I came across the Rick Scott comments! Encouraging! Looks like there is some basic common sense and compassion still left in politics. Thanks for shining a light on it. I needed that.

  • DisplacedCTYankee

    July 29, 2020 at 8:35 am

    Rubio, Scott say:

    Russia steals 2016 elections? GOOD!
    China could steal 2020 elections? BAD!

  • Tjb

    July 29, 2020 at 10:14 am

    Looks like they are setting up why the election results are tainted if Biden wins.

  • St. A. Pete

    July 29, 2020 at 11:28 am

    Many U.S. Tik Tok users aren’t old enough to vote…

  • Booner

    July 29, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    Let’s quantify the danger of Tik Tok. Few, if any, voters use it for information, or even have the app installed. Kids use Tik Tok for entertainment. It’s like calling a Chia Pet an invasive species. Overblown hooey.

    So why the alarm bells from our newly-woke GOP hard-right leadership? It’s a Chinese -based app. Trump says so, along with Pompous and Barrel. Therefore, be very afraid of Tik Tok, and disparage it at every photo opp.

    These helpful Chicken Littles offer no specific information on how Tik Tok could influence the vote. But following the marching rules of their party, means smearing the election process in anticipation of overwhelming Democratic party gains in state and national elections.

    So what we have here is a PR stunt to cast doubts on undue foreign influence to de-legitimize the November vote. Its a clear message of pure hypocrisy to Florida voters, thanks to our dotarded Senators.

    Where was little Marco in 2016? Taking Trump’s abuse, then kissing up to daddy Trump who smeared the Senator’s father . Strangely silent on wide open Kremlin influence encouraged by Trump until well after the 2016 election.

    Rick Scott was another cultist working to establish a Trump dynasty in 2016. Monkey wrenching the state constitutional amendment process, pimping for minimum wage employers, ignoring the broken unemployment system, charging a poll tax to ex-felons to restore voting privileges, and too much to list here. This greedy, heartless Snake only pretends to be honest, fair and compassionate, His sorry performance is better suited to cheap slasher films.

    The only “TIK TOK” these Trump lackeys fear is the clock winding down to November defeat. Their alarm is real, because Trump is leading them into political oblivion, and they are too chicken to jump off the sinking GOP ship.

    • Ocean Joe

      July 29, 2020 at 6:06 pm

      Yes, they are too chicken to jump off, but at least they are gathering on the lifeboat deck. In 3.5 years, Trump has deliberately run over every iceberg in his path, and even backed over a few.

Comments are closed.


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