Liz Truss becomes a meme on TikTok
TikTok

The UK parliament recently got rid of its official TikTok account soon after it was created over fears about the platform’s data security and links to China.

Last week on 27 July, the UK Parliament announced it was launching an account on social media platform TikTok. But it became clear that MPs and others had not been consulted in the decision.

Concerns were quickly raised about the government’s new account by Conservative MPs who have all been sanctioned by China and handed bans from the country where TikTok is owned and run.

Chinese technology company ByteDance owns the social media platform. Last week, senior MPs, as well as members of the House of Lords, criticised parliamentary staff for starting the account.

In a joint letter to the speakers of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, sent on July 29, figures such as Tom Tugendhat, Iain Duncan Smith and Nus Ghani said they were “surprised and disappointed” by the decision to set up the account.

It urged authorities to take down the account “until credible assurances can be given that no data whatsoever can be transferred to China”.

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The speakers of the House of Commons and House of Lords said they has also not been consulted and now the TikTok account has been locked and all the content deleted, according to Politico.

TikTok has faced accusations of questionable data practices. MPs opposing the account pointed out that China has a security law that means the company would be obliged to supply the personal data of users to the Beijing government.

In America, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner Brendan Carr recently called for TikTok to be removed from US app stores over security concerns.

His calls came soon after a BuzzFeed investigation in June revealed leaked audio from TikTok meetings that suggested China had been accessing US users’ data. Here is all the data TikTok has access to.

Responding to the joint letter, the respective speakers of the Commons and Lords, said: “The account was an attempt to engage with younger audiences – who are not always active on our existing social media platforms – regarding the work of parliament.

“However, in light of your feedback and concerns expressed to us we have decided that the account should be closed with immediate effect.”

A TikTok spokesperson told the Guardian: “While it is disappointing that Parliament will no longer be able to connect with the millions of people who use TikTok in the UK, we reiterate the offer to reassure those Members of Parliament who raised concerns and clarify any inaccuracies about our platform.”

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