Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy announced on X Thursday that he’d changed his mind about social media platform TikTok.
And he did it with a remarkably inaccurate comparison.
Ramaswamy has previously decried the obsessive relationship that many in younger generations have with TikTok. Not long ago during a campaign stop in Iowa, he told attendees “Sixty percent of [Gen Z] say they would sooner give up their right to vote than to give up their access to TikTok. I’m not making this up. This is the stuff of a national crisis unless we step up and stand from something as a nation.”
But after a meeting with Jake Paul on Sunday, he announced he’s changed his mind about joining.
READ: ‘PEOPLE’S CHAMP’ JAKE PAUL SAYS HE WILL MEET WITH PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES
“Had dinner with @JakePaul on Sunday. He changed my mind and convinced me to join TikTok,” he posted. “Yes, kids under age 16 shouldn’t be using it, but the fact is that many young voters are & we’re not going to change this country without winning. We can’t just talk about the importance of the GOP ‘reaching young voters’ while hiding in our own echo chambers. It’s bad when the CCP collects data from U.S. users via TikTok, but the truth is it’s no better when ‘American’ companies like Airbnb do the same thing by handing over U.S. user data to China, and we’re not going to get China to play by the same set of rules until we win this thing. I’ll be on there starting later today.”
Ramaswamy Excuses TikTok-CCP Connection With Bad Comparison
Data privacy collection and violations by American-based tech companies are serious issues. But comparing Airbnb to TikTok is wildly inaccurate.
TikTok essentially functions as an arm of the CCP and is essentially obligated to share data and information with the Chinese government. Collecting information on untold millions of users that goes directly to the top of the Chinese Communist Party is wildly different than selling it to advertisers.
He clearly didn’t actually view TikTok as much of a significant threat, if a conversation with Jake Paul is all it took to change his mind.
There’s an argument to be made that it’s impossible to reach young voters if you aren’t using the platforms they use. But there’s an equally valid argument to be made that the platforms they use are dangerously compromised.
And now the CCP will learn a lot more about Vivek Ramaswamy. All thanks to Jake Paul.