Florida’s senior Senator is laying blame for an anti-Israeli view from America’s youth on social media.
In an interview with Sean Hannity, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio contended that TikTok was to blame for the “pro-Hamas” position taken by young people on college campuses and beyond in the wake of terror attacks on Israel and the country’s subsequent retaliation.
Rubio contended “places like TikTok have become cesspools of this kind of misinformation and indoctrination.”
“It’s actually brainwashing,” he added.
“It’s reflected in the polling, you know, where Americans under a certain age — under 35, I think, or what have you are — amazingly pro-Palestinian (and) pro-Hamas. And their views of what’s happening in the region and these things don’t happen in a vacuum. It’s a constant, you know, bombardment of information, anti-colonial messaging and all this other ridiculousness that sort of made its way.”
The Senator noted the incongruity of people who “stand for every liberal cause,” including “LGBTQ rights,” protesting in favor of the Palestinians given “none of those rights exist in the places that they are defending.”
He went on to suggest further hypocrisy, arguing they “didn’t start protesting once the bombardment started, they came out almost immediately as a counter-reaction.”
The Senator’s concern about TikTok, of course, precedes the current phase of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. During his 2022 campaign for re-election, Rubio ripped Democrat Val Demings for “dancing” and deciding to “campaign on China-linked TikTok.”
He also pushed the Federal Trade Commission to formally investigate the social media company and its parent company, ByteDance. The Senator argued TikTok engineers and executives in the People’s Republic of China repeatedly access U.S. users’ private data.
In 2021, Rubio urged President Joe Biden to block TikTok completely in light of the Chinese government taking an ownership stake in the company, an “extension of the party-state.”
Even before Biden was President, Rubio anticipated TikTok being used as a weapon of mass deception in the way he notes now. He and other Republican Senators wrote Donald Trump administration officials with grave concerns that “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.”