- TikTok has defended itself against a potential US ban.
- It says Facebook is trying to stifle competition, and that the market would be richer for it.
- This comes just as Facebookâ€™s CEO is testifying on competition.
The social network has posted a treatise on â€œfair competition and transparencyâ€� that both defended the companyâ€™s presence in the US and blasted Facebook for allegedly trying to kick it out of the country.
TikTok chief Kevin Mayer pitched the company as an important part of the online American landscape, noting that it was the place â€œwhere new music is discovered.â€� Competition in social media â€œwould dry upâ€� if TikTok left, the executive claimed, and advertisers would have â€œfew choices.â€�
Mayer said TikTok welcomed competition from others, including â€œcopycatâ€� products like Instagramâ€™s Reels. However, he also accused Facebook of trying to end TikTokâ€™s â€œvery presenceâ€� in the US under the guise of patriotism. Critics, including government officials, have claimed that China could force TikTok to collect sensitive data due to its ownership by a Chinese company, ByteDance.
The CEO argued that TikTok was â€œnot politicalâ€� and had taken a number of steps to come clean, including the creation of a dedicated Transparency and Accountability Center that provides algorithm source code and outlines its moderation. This shows that TikTok is a â€œresponsible and committedâ€� company that honors US law, according to Mayer, adding that itâ€™s â€œnot the enemy.â€�
Itâ€™s not certain if Congress will listen to TikTokâ€™s argument, whether or not itâ€™s accurate. Nonetheless, TikTok has a strong incentive to speak now. This could not only help the company survive at a crucial moment, but push politicians to curb Facebook in a way that helps TikTok gain ground.