On Monday, former President Barack Obama appeared on the video platform TikTok, which experts have deemed a national security concern, alongside one of the platform's famous creators, Vitus Spehar, who goes by "V," to encourage voters to get out and vote and support Democrats' climate restrictions, gun control laws, and abortion rights agenda.
During his appearance, Obama tells V, host of "Under The Desk News," that he "can stay [under his desk] for now, but when it comes time for voting you're going to have to get up."
"You got climate change legislation on the ballot; you got gun safety. And when we can elect more pro-choice members of Congress, we can reinstitute Roe v. Wade as the law of the land," the former president added. "So you can't stay here; you're going to have to take a little bit of time to vote."
"Is now a bad time to say that I voted for [John] McCain in 2008?" V asked.
"Mmm, as long as you voted," Obama replied.
Following the former president's appearance, Libs of TikTok shared the video on Twitter. Responses to it were met with replies of cringe.
"Ooof this is painful," Food Network personality chef Andrew Gruel replied.
"Now Obama is participating on TikTok, a legitimate national security threat," Stephen L. Miller, a contributing editor at The Spectator, wrote.
On Wednesday, Forbes echoed Miller's point in an unrelated piece titled "What You Should Know About The TikTok National Security Debate."
The article featured a comment from Brendan Carr, the commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission.
In July, Carr testified in a hearing on national security in front of the House Oversight Committee. During his testimony, Carr explained how the app was used as a proxy by the Chinese Communist Party to pull data from Americans.
"There's a range of ways that sensitive data going back to Beijing with their sophisticated [artificial intelligence] can ultimately be used to harm U.S. national security.
"At its core," the FCC commissioner added, "TikTok functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of sensitive data from search and browsing history, keystroke patterns, location data and biometrics, including face prints and voice prints. All of the concerns with TikTok are heightened in the military context."
The commissioner's concerns come in light of a report released by The Intercept on Monday detailing that the Department of Homeland Security worked alongside Big Tech platforms to censor what it deemed as disinformation. The Intercept's report comes months after DHS tried but failed to get off the ground a de facto ministry of truth headed by Nina Jankowicz.
While The Intercept did not mention TikTok in its report, a Forbes report dating back to August 2020 said: "TikTok works with DHS to tackle foreign interference in 2020 elections — even as it faces accusations of Chinese control."
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