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Setting the Record Straight

TikTok is the daily destination for millions of people to express themselves creatively, enjoy entertaining content, and engage with a diverse global community that transcends borders. With rumors and misinformation about TikTok proliferating in Washington and in the media, let us set the record straight. Here’s what the TikTok creator community and industry experts are saying across cybersecurity, media and academia.

TikTok On the Record

Statements from the Newsroom

We disagree with the decision from the Commerce Department

“We disagree with the decision from the Commerce Department, and are disappointed that it stands to block new app downloads from Sunday and ban use of the TikTok app in the US from November 12. Our community of 100 million US users love TikTok because it’s a home for entertainment, self-expression, and connection, and we’re committed to protecting their privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.

In our proposal to the US Administration, we’ve already committed to unprecedented levels of additional transparency and accountability well beyond what other apps are willing to do, including third-party audits, verification of code security, and US government oversight of US data security. Further, an American technology provider would be responsible for maintaining and operating the TikTok network in the US, which would include all services and data serving US consumers. We will continue to challenge the unjust executive order, which was enacted without due process and threatens to deprive the American people and small businesses across the US of a significant platform for both a voice and livelihoods.”

The Future of TikTok is Bright

“The TikTok team has worked tirelessly to make this platform a place of joy for hundreds of millions of people around the world, and we’re just getting started. Our global community is strong, authentic, and vibrant, and the creativity I see every day inspires me. It’s incredible to look back on our last couple years and see how much we’ve accomplished, and I’m even more excited for what we’ll continue to bring to our community going forward. The future for TikTok is bright.” – Vanessa Pappas, Interim Head of TikTok

Why We're Suing the Administration

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“Today we are filing a complaint in federal court challenging the Administration’s efforts to ban TikTok in the US. As a company we have always focused on transparency, so we want to explain why we are taking this step.

Over the past few years, people of all backgrounds have embraced the TikTok community. Today, 100 million Americans turn to TikTok for entertainment, inspiration, and connection; countless creators rely on our platform to express their creativity, reach broad audiences, and generate income; our more than 1,500 employees across the US pour their hearts into building this platform every day, with 10,000 more jobs planned in California, Texas, New York, Tennessee, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, and Washington State; and many of the country’s leading brands are on TikTok to connect with consumers more authentically and directly than they can elsewhere.

Put simply, we have a thriving community and we are grateful – and responsible – to them.”

On the Administration’s Executive Order

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We prioritize your safety, security, and the trust of our community – always

“This Executive Order risks undermining global businesses’ trust in the United States’ commitment to the rule of law, which has served as a magnet for investment and spurred decades of American economic growth. And it sets a dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets. We will pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly – if not by the Administration, then by the US courts.

“We want the 100 million Americans who love our platform because it is your home for expression, entertainment, and connection to know: TikTok has never, and will never, waver in our commitment to you. We prioritize your safety, security, and the trust of our community – always. As TikTok users, creators, partners, and family, you have the right to express your opinions to your elected representatives, including the White House. You have the right to be heard.”

On Combating Misinformation and Election Interference

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“We’re committed to being transparent about how we execute our policies and safeguard our platform. With our Transparency and Accountability Center now available for virtual tours, along with the release of regular Transparency Reports and our new Transparency webpage, we aim to give users, lawmakers, and experts unprecedented insight into how we work to keep TikTok safe and secure.

“Misinformation, disinformation, and threats to civic engagement are challenges no platform can ignore. By working together as an industry with experts and civil society organizations, we can better protect the civic processes that are so essential to our users. We’ll continue to share updates and keep our community updated along the way.” – Vanessa Pappas, General Manager, TikTok US

On Fair Competition and Transparency

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“At TikTok we welcome competition. We think fair competition makes all of us better. To those who wish to launch competitive products, we say bring it on.”

“TikTok has become the latest target, but we are not the enemy. The bigger move is to use this moment to drive deeper conversations around algorithms, transparency, and content moderation, and to develop stricter rules of the road. We are taking the first step of many to address these concerns, and call on the industry to follow our lead for the benefit of users and creators everywhere.” – TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer

On TikTok’s Security Roadmap

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“We’re committed to building an app that respects the privacy of our users and to being more transparent with our community. We’ll continue to update you about ways we are improving TikTok, and later this year, we’ll open our Transparency Center to give experts a behind-the-scenes look at how we keep people safe and protect their privacy. Security is a job that is never finished, but I can tell you we’ll continue to aggressively build an experience that respects and protects our community.” – Roland Cloutier, TikTok Chief Information Security Officer

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Headline News

The New York Times: C.I.A finds no evidence to support claims that the Chinese government has accessed TikTok user information.

When the C.I.A was asked recently to assess whether TikTok is a national security problem, they found no evidence to support claims that the Chinese government has accessed TikTok user information.

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The Verge: Trump’s TikTok ban is a gross abuse of power

“Make no mistake: something ugly and unprecedented is happening here. A social network that’s used by millions of people is set to be banned by presidential fiat, with no public evidence of wrongdoing and only the thinnest gesture at constitutional restraints to executive power.” – Russell Brandom, The Verge

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Bloomberg: Here’s why the U.S. shouldn’t jump to ban TikTok

“On a relative basis, TikTok isn’t an obvious target in terms of data collection. Its focus is sharing creative short-form videos, like dancing and lip-syncing. The app’s algorithm surfaces relevant content, using metrics like how many similar videos you watched. And compared to an app like Facebook, TikTok doesn’t require a large amount of data entry.” – Tae Kim, Bloomberg Technology Columnist

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CATO Institute: The Lesson of TikTok

Cato Institute

“Without more information from the administration, it is difficult for outsiders to judge how much of a threat TikTok poses to national security. TikTok says that it stores its data in the United States, with a backup located in Singapore. According to one analysis, TikTok does not appear to gather more user data than U.S. tech companies, such as Facebook, and there is no proof that it is sharing data with the Chinese government.” – CATO Institute

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Expert Opinions

“There’s scant evidence that TikTok is sharing our data with China, and we should be wary of xenophobia dressed up as privacy concerns”

– Geoffrey Fowler, The Washington Post Tech Columnist

“Banning Americans from using TikTok would infringe the First Amendment rights of those users to express themselves online.”

– Taylor Lorenz, The New York Times

TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video.
Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy.