TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew was called to testify before Congress on Thursday.
TikTokers mocked the hearing as it was happening, saying lawmakers don't know the app well enough to litigate it.
Livestreams of the hearing on TikTok were packed with comments calling US politicians 'out of touch' and 'embarrassing.'
A torrent of TikTokers mocked the US Congressional hearing that aimed to raise growing security concerns about the app on Thursday. Creators and commenters shared their critiques live as the hearing aired, claiming lawmakers did not seem to know much about the platform they're litigating, and that they did not give TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew a fair chance to speak.
During the five-hour hearing, numerous clips pointing out the shortcomings of the proceedings quickly went viral.
One of the most widely-shared videos, with over a million views, showed Georgia representative Earl "Buddy" Carter asking Chew whether the phone camera tracks users' pupil dilations, which Chew quickly refuted, saying TikTok doesn't use body, face, or voice data to identify users.
"I get second hand embarrassment watching these corpses try to make points," user @gbp97 captioned their viral reactionary TikTok, which is rife with comments calling Carter a "boomer" with a derogatory tone.
@gbp97 I get second hand embarrasment watching these corpses try to make points 🤦🏼♂️ #tiktokhearing #tiktokban #fyp #ustiktokban ♬ original sound - Gbp97
Carter later asked how the app determines the age of a user, insinuating that it must be from biometric data. Chew explained that users provide their age when they sign up for an account.
In another widely circulated clip, North Carolina representative Richard Hudson asked Chew if TikTok can "access the home Wi-Fi network," which TikTokers found confounding, as the app, and most apps, require network access to be used.
"DOES HE NOT UNDERSTAND HOW INTERNET ACCESS WORKS?!" a top commenter, with 56,000 upvotes, wrote.
@hoolie_r This is so embarrassing. I swear to god we need to get competent and younger people in office. It’s giving “Senator, we run ads.” #congressionalhearing #congress #uscongress #tiktok #tiktokban #tiktokhearing #tiktokceo #unitedstates ♬ original sound - Julie
Many of the most viral reaction videos called out how often politicians pressing Chew seemed to be interrupting him instead of letting him answer their questions. In a line of questioning about dangerous trends, like the 2021 "Blackout Challenge," Carter did not let Chew have more than two or three seconds before he cutting in with his own rant.
Although much of the backlash to the hearing was impassioned, some US users resorted to making jokes and memes to highlight just how out of touch they believed their congressmen were during the hearing.
"There is a lot of dangerous stuff on here. I saw a young man surfing on the subway to collect coins. SMH," one user joked, referencing the game "Subway Surfers."
As the hearing was airing, TikTok livestreams of the event were drowning with a constant stream of criticism. Many users denounced how Congress was handling tenable concerns over the app's security threats, saying lawmakers seemed uninformed about how the app works, thereby making Americans look "dumb" in front of a world stage.
Chew was called to testify before the House and Energy Committee on Thursday amid a wider and largely right-wing-led effort to limit access or outrightly ban TikTok in the US. The crux of concerns centers around the fear and possibility that the app, which is owned by Chinese parent company ByteDance, is harvesting user data and handing it over to the Chinese government.
Read the original article on Insider