The TikTok Congress hearing was…EVENTFUL, let’s put it that way.
There’s apparently no such thing as a stupid question, but listening to the questions posed by Congress left our sides splitting like we were at a Ricky Gervais special.
And no, we’re not here to poke fun at people (mostly), but it’s amusing to hear lawmakers grilling the popular social media app on its data privacy practices, content moderation policies, and alleged ties to the Chinese government when they seemingly have no basic understanding of how tech works.
We thought we’d be charitable and answer their questions because life is for learning!
10 Tech Questions Asked at the TikTok Congress Hearing
(and the answers they can’t seem to wrap their heads around)
Q: “Is TikTok a Chinese spy app?”
- A: No, just- no. It’s a social media platform. Can people with ulterior motives use the platform? Potentially. But they can with any social media platform. For U.S. citizens concerned about their data, TikTok CEO Show Chew explained they are working on a $1.5 Billion project to store U.S. data on U.S. soil protected by U.S. authorities. America, yeaaah!
Q: “Does TikTok steal data from its users?”
Q: “How does TikTok decide which videos to promote?”
- A: It’s a secret algorithm, but we think it involves sacrificing a few goats to the TikTok gods. The algorithm assesses which videos you watch most and how much of the video you watch and suggests similar videos. So the people who are up in arms about always seeing explicit content when they open the app need to sit with this thought for a moment.
Q: “Can TikTok be used to spread misinformation?”
- A: It’s just an app that lets you watch people lip-sync to songs while you’re on the toilet. Misinformation is everywhere, on every app and even in the news. We suggest engaging your noggin and doing a little critical thinking when digesting any content. Opinions aren’t facts, but people are compelling at presenting them as facts. You’re a smart cookie; you can figure it out for yourself!
Q: “Is TikTok safe for kids?”
- A: Of course! And honestly, this is a question of parenting rather than the app. There are plenty of safety features in place to protect children. But you should be asking whether your children should use social media? If you’re concerned about what they may be viewing, perhaps they shouldn’t use it. Google poses as much of a threat to kids’ safety as TikTok, but it’s relatively harmless if used correctly.
Q: “Can TikTok be used to spy on Americans?”
- A: No, but it can be used to spy on your ex and see if they’re still single. Americans, see the previous answer!
Q: “Does TikTok have a political bias?”
- A: Not really, but it does have a strong bias towards things that give us the ick and why we all probably need therapy. Jokes. Again, it depends on what you engage with, but if we want to talk about political biases, we should consult Mr Zuckerberg.
Q: “How can small business owners benefit from TikTok?”
- A: By making viral videos of their products and services and becoming the next Charli D’Amelio of the business world. It’s a land of opportunities, which is funny because that’s how America used to brand itself. Copyright infringement next?
Q: “Can TikTok be used to promote positive social change?”
- A: Absolutely! Communities are given a platform to raise awareness for important issues like climate change and social justice. The problem is many people don’t like these voices being heard and see them as a threat. But there’s nothing new there!
Q: “Is TikTok a threat to national security?”
- A: No, but it could threaten your productivity levels and your ability to resist the urge to spend hours scrolling through your For You page.
TikTok may have its flaws and controversies, but it’s also a fun and engaging platform that can be used for good.
Oh, we almost forgot:
TikTok and Your WiFi Network
“If I have the TikTok app on my phone, and my phone is on my home WiFi network, does TikTok have access to that network?”
Okay, let’s break this down:
When you open the TikTok app on your device, it will automatically detect and connect to available wifi networks that your device is already connected to.
If you’re using TikTok for the first time, it will prompt you to enable wifi access to the app in your device’s settings so you don’t whack your month’s mobile data allowance in five minutes.
Once connected to wifi, TikTok will use your internet connection to stream videos, upload your own videos, and download new content to your device.
It’s important to note that the quality of your wifi connection can affect your TikTok experience, so ensure you have a stable and strong wifi signal for optimal performance.
Does TikTok steal data from your wifi?
Nope. Not slightly. Not ever.
Your router is safe to live another day!
So what is TikTok actually good for?
Being Better at Stuff and Things
TikTok can be a helpful platform to learn on!
While the app is primarily known for its entertaining videos, it’s also home to a growing community of educators and experts who use the platform to share their knowledge and skills.
Whether you’re interested in learning a new language, honing your cooking skills, or mastering a new dance move, plenty of educational and instructional TikTok videos are available. In addition, many creators use the app to break down complex concepts into bite-sized, easy-to-understand chunks, making it an excellent resource for visual learners.
Of course, like any social media platform, there can also be a lot of misinformation and questionable content on TikTok. Hence, it’s vital to approach all content critically and do your research to ensure accuracy. If you’re too lazy for this, then that’s natural selection for you!
While TikTok may not be the first platform that comes to mind when you think of educational resources, it can be a valuable tool for learning if used responsibly and selectively.
TikTok and Small Business Owner World Domination
As our audience is primarily business owners, this ones for you, chucks!
TikTok can also be a handy platform for small business owners for several reasons:
- It has a massive and engaged user base: With over 1 billion active users worldwide, TikTok offers a huge potential audience for businesses looking to reach new customers. Moreover, the platform’s algorithm is designed to promote engagement and high-quality content, which means that if you create content that resonates with users, it has the potential to go viral and reach a much larger customer base.
- It’s free to use: Unlike traditional advertising platforms, TikTok is completely free, making it an attractive option for small businesses with limited marketing budgets.
- It allows for creative and authentic content: TikTok’s emphasis on short, visually appealing videos means businesses can showcase their products and services more creatively and engagingly. Additionally, the platform encourages authenticity and encourages users to create content that feels genuine and relatable, which can be a powerful way for small businesses to connect with potential customers.
- It offers a range of advertising options: While TikTok is free to use, the platform also provides a range of advertising options for businesses looking to take their marketing to the next level. Companies can choose the advertising format that best suits their goals and budget, from in-feed ads to branded hashtag challenges.
TikTok can be an effective platform for small business owners looking to reach new customers and build their brands. By creating engaging, authentic content and taking advantage of the platform’s advertising options, businesses can use TikTok to grow their audience and increase their sales.
What have we learned?
- Don’t believe everything you see on the internet
- Just because they are powerful, don’t mean they’re all that bright (we’re naming no names)
- TikTok is super beneficial for small business owners
- Your algorithm is very telling
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