TikTok Unleashes Its Users on Congress Live

1 min read

The Chinese-owned social media app used sophisticated tracking data to target users and launch a mass call-in campaign on Congress.

As the Energy and Commerce Committee prepared to vote on a bill to force Beijing-based ByteDance, which owns the app, to sell TikTok or see it banned from US app stores, committee members offices were bombarded with calls.

The calls came from TikTok users who had just received a pop-up alert on their phone.

“TikTok is at risk of being shut down in the US. Call your representative now,” the notification read. It also linked users to a mobile website that described the bill as a “TikTok ban” and urged users to enter their zip code to get contract information for their representative’s office.

In a statement, TikTok claimed its alert only went out to users 18 and over, despite many of the callers sounding much younger.

Multiple House staffers said their offices were contacted dozens of times by mostly teenagers begging lawmakers not to take away the app.

“It’s so so bad. Our phones have not stopped ringing. They’re teenagers and old people saying they spend their whole day on the app and we can’t take it away,” one staffer told Politico.

A staffer for a Democrat member on the committee said, “We’re bombarded. We’re hearing everything from kids saying, ‘This is my life, don’t ban TikTok,’ to people saying, ‘I am a content creator, I really would like my representative to know the impacts this is having on me.’”

An unnamed Republican who also spoke to Politico said the call-in campaign was “backfiring”, pushing members who were undecided to vote yes on the bill.

House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) said the campaign “only exposed the degree in which TikTok can manipulate and target a message.”

The campaign did not have the desired effect. Ultimately, the committee voted 50-0 to advance the bill.


  1. Backlash, indeed.

    Looks like TikTok just overexposed itself, manipulating a bunch of kids who do not know enough to see how they are being manipulated.

  2. I have see these people always on their phones. Parents should not be giving phones to young children. Old people are just bore and lazy. They ignore their grandchildren. Shut it up. They show very dangerous stuff on there and children try it and die.

  3. Yes, communist are after our kids. That’s the way communism starts. They might call it socialism for now, but it really is the communist and there after our kids.

  4. Tik Tok is as honest as Faux Joe Bidumb and the demoncRAT communist party. Tik Tok and Facebook and all of it’s tentacles should all be banned and extricated of the U.S digital world. They are all subversive organizations.

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