Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, TikTok advocate funded by TikTok

The Democratic congresswoman posted a video stating that banning the Chinese social media platform isn't the solution. Days later, it was revealed that the Hispanic Caucus received donations from ByteDance.

"This is not only my first TikTok, but it is a TikTok about TikTok." This is how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) began her plea in defense of the platform. The Democratic congresswoman uploaded a video last Friday stating that banning the Chinese social media platform isn't the solution to the problems the social network is causing throughout the country.

@aocinthehouseSomethoughts on TikTok...♬ original sound - aocinthehouse

Her plea was resounding: "Do I believe TikTok should be banned? No," she stated at the beginning of her video. AOC used the three-minute video to defend the platform. According to her, the ban would be an "unprecedented move" as the Chinese company would become the first social media company to be banned in the United States:

I think it’s important to discuss how unprecedented of a move this would be. The United States has never before banned a social media company from existence, from operating in our borders. And this is an app that has over 150 million Americans on it.

"The solution here is not to ban an individual company"

The reasons given by several representatives for banning TikTok do not convince the congresswoman either. According to the video, the fact that several politicians have doubts about data security is not a strong enough reason to ban the social network: "They say because of this egregious amount of data harvesting, we should ban this app. However, that doesn’t really address the core of the issue."

The problem lies, according to the Democratic representative, in the United States' current laws, which she believes do not address the security of U.S. citizens' data:

In fact, the United States is one of the only developed nations in the world that has no significant data or privacy protection laws on the books. So to me, the solution here is not to ban an individual company — but to actually protect Americans from this kind of egregious data harvesting that companies can do without your significant ability to say no.

TikTok's parent company made donations to the Hispanic Caucus

The Chinese platform's defense came two days before Fox Business revealed that ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, had made significant donations to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Democratic organization where AOC is an advisory member.

According to a lobbying contribution report released in December 2022 by the Senate, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus received $150,000 from ByteDance. It is not the only caucus to receive a significant donation. The Congressional Black Caucus received exactly the same amount as the Hispanic Democratic organization, while the Congressional Asian Pacific Studies Institute received $75,000 and the Republican think tank, Ripon Society, received $35,000.