"They're Imbeciles When It Comes To Tech": 7 Questions People Can't Believe Members Of Congress Seriously Asked The CEO Of TikTok

·4 min read

If you missed it, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified in front of Congress on Thursday as the US government debates whether or not the app should be banned within its borders. Their main concern? That TikTok's self-reported 150 million users (which is nearly half of the US population) may be at risk of having their data shared with the Chinese government.

  Anadolu Agency / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Anadolu Agency / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

TikTok is parented by the China-based company ByteDance, and though, as ABC reported, there is currently no evidence that TikTok has shared US user data with the Chinese government, US officials are shaking over the possibility.

A hand holding a smartphone with the TikTok logo on the screen
Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP via Getty Images

So, throughout the hearing, questions from members of Congress largely focused on data, safety, and...how to use the app. Yes — whether you are left-leaning or right, many who saw viral clips from the hearing criticized the questions lawmakers put forward...

...because — if I didn't know any better — they kind of sounded like they've never heard of an app, the internet, or technology before.

1.One of the most viral moments? When Rep. Richard Hudson asked Chew, "Does TikTok access the home Wi-Fi network?" Ya know, like when you're at home and use Wi-Fi for any and every app on your phone.

2.Meanwhile, Rep. Buddy Carter pushed a conspiracy theory that TikTok uses "the phone's camera" to watch viewers' eyes and boost videos that make our pupils dilate to the FYP...

3....and then when Chew explained that the only body recognition TikTok uses is when determining where certain features are so that filters, such as sunglasses, can work by laying over the eyes, Rep. Carter exclaimed, "Why do you need to know where the eyes are?!" (Because, Bud, sunglasses would not look right on your neck.)

4. Rep. Bill Johnson confused everyone at home when he pressed: "As CEO of TikTok, why have you not directed your engineers to change the source code?" Source code is literally any text assembled into a computer program. What code does Johnson want Chew to change, exactly? He refused to clarify, so we have no idea. (And likely, neither does he.)


#tiktokban #tiktokhearing Another hostile interaction between the TikTok CEO and a lawmaker. With a threat of criminal prosecution

♬ original sound - 📺The News Girl 📰

5.The conversation then quickly took a microaggressive turn when Rep. Dan Crenshaw asked Chew, "If the CCP tells ByteDance to turn over all data that TikTok has collected inside the US, do they have to do so according to Chinese law?" And Chew had to remind everyone that he's Singaporean. (So why would he be familiar with every paragraph of Chinese law?)

6.Then Rep. Debbie Lesko asked Chew his opinions on China's human rights abuses against Uyghurs in Xinjiang... during a hearing where the TikTok CEO is meant to explain the inner workings of a shortform video app.

7.And when asked flat out whether Tiktok should be removed from ByteDance's ownership (because of the whole alleged/potential mining of data from the Chinese government thing), people largely loved Chew's answer, which boiled down to: American companies suffer data breaches ALL THE TIME and we don't. So why would we make TikTok more susceptible to breaches by selling?

Truly, this hearing was all over the place. What are your thoughts on everything that happened?