Facebook Campaign Against TikTok, House Passes Cyber Bill, CTA Brings CES to the Hill

TikTok faces more pressure, this time from competitor Facebook.

Facebook Campaign Against TikTok, House Passes Cyber Bill, CTA Brings CES to the Hill
Photo of Rep. Abigail Spanberger, from Flickr.

March 31, 2022 – On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that Facebook hired Targeted Victory, a Republican consulting firm, to run a campaign against video sharing platform TikTok, portraying the app as a danger to America.

Facebook’s campaign targeted TikTok through several op-eds in a variety of news outlets that portrayed TikTok as harmful, along with promoting claims that certain TikTok trends originated on Facebook, The Post reported.

“We are deeply concerned that the stoking of local media reports on alleged trends that have not been found on the platform could cause real world harm,” said a TikTok spokesperson, reported The Hill.

TikTok, owned by ByteDance, has already been a target of concern for some lawmakers and experts who view the app as a possible threat because of its ties to China. Former President Donald Trump had previously lobbed threats at the company and sought to penalize it.

And earlier this month, a coalition of attorneys general from several states agreed to investigate TikTok’s effect on children.

That investigation comes after Facebook itself was the subject of Washington’s ire, following whistleblower testimony from Frances Haugen showed the social media giant’s potentially detrimental effect on kids. It also comes at a time when the platform is losing popularity with the younger generation and as it faces antitrust concerns from the federal government.

House passes cyber legislation

The House on Tuesday passed the Better Cybercrime Metrics Act to help the federal government identify and analyze cybercrime.

“Our bill would require federal reporting on the effectiveness of current cybercrime mechanisms. And it would go one step further — it would also highlight disparities in reporting data between cybercrime data and other types of crime data,” said bill sponsor Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., according to a story by The Hill.

The Senate’s version of the legislation was passed in December, sending the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk next.

The legislation’s development comes less than a month after Biden signed the Cyber Incident Reporting for Critical Infrastructure Act of 2022 into law on March 15, which requires companies operating in certain critical infrastructure sectors to report cyberattacks within 72 hours.

The current uptick in cybersecurity legislation is especially timely as concern for Russia’s potential hacking of US companies has intensified by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the U.S.’s response to implement severe sanctions on the country of Russia.

CTA brings CES to Capitol Hill

In an effort to inform lawmakers about the newest technologies, the Consumer Technology Association will be bringing the Consumer Electronics Show to Washington, D.C. on April 6 as a part of CTA’s Tech Week.

The event will showcase technologies from companies including Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, Intel, Samsung, and others.

“We are excited to bring together policy and tech leaders to showcase how innovation is making our lives better from helping us stay connected and healthy to improving accessibility. It is important for lawmakers to experience the technology at the center of today’s policy debates firsthand,” said CTA President and CEO Gary Shapiro.

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