Sens. Tom Cotton and Chuck Schumer are concerned that TikTok, which launched in the U.S. last year, is "a potential target of foreign influence campaigns like those carried out during the 2016 election."
No one knows if social media phenomenon TikTok could allow China to meddle in the 2020 election, similar to Russia's attacks in the last presidential campaign. But two senators who are on the opposite sides of almost every issue want to find out.
The Chinese-owned video sharing app is rapidly increasing in popularity worldwide, especially among teenagers. It has been downloaded more than 110 million times in the United States alone. And just two weeks ago it said it was working to steer clear of the next election by banning all political advertising from its site.
Nonetheless, it has now become "is a potential counterintelligence threat we cannot ignore" in the view of the two senators, Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and conservative Republican Tom Cotton of Arkansas.
"The platform is also a potential target of foreign influence campaigns like those carried out during the 20I6 election on U.S.-based social media platforms," the pair wrote in a letter this week to Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire.
The 2020 primaries are just around the corner, and thanks to this year's National Voter Registration Day, an additional 400,000 people are ready to cast their ballots.
The estimated number of registrations is nearly three times that of previous non-election-year events. And while some of these new or renewed registrants can now participate in local and state elections this fall, many are gearing up for important primary races happening as early as February of next year.