GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley said Monday that teenagers “will understand” the need for a ban on the video-sharing platform TikTok.
“I think what we need to do is we need to be honest with them, you know, you don’t tell them this is what we’re going to do and not explain why,” she said on Fox News. “The reason we want to ban TikTok — and yes, I think we need to ban it — is because it’s an app that actually goes and has access to your contacts, to your financial information, to your camera, to your recorder, to everything. It’s infiltration; we know that.
Haley has previously backed a ban on TikTok and reaffirmed her stance after a decades-old letter from Osama bin Laden went viral online. Many users showed support for the Al Qaeda leader’s argument that attempted to justify the killing and targeting of American civilians, which they read in light of the U.S.’s backing of Israel in its war against Palestinian militant group Hamas.
She again cited the letter as a reason for implementing a TikTok ban, saying the platform was “trying to influence young voters.” She also emphasized that people need to know about the “dangers of TikTok,” including foreign bots that she says can spread misinformation.
“This is a truth that needs to be told to the American people, no matter what age they are. I think the younger generation is smart. I think they will understand this when we explain it to them,” Haley said Monday. “And yes, we’re on social media too. We put videos out there, we’re doing all those things, but we’re doing on platforms that we know that we can trust, and TikTok’s one we don’t trust.”
She recently called for social media reforms that target user accountability, suggesting that anonymous users should not be allowed and pushing social media companies to explain their algorithm systems.
She also clashed with fellow GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy on the debate stage earlier this month when he mentioned Haley’s daughter when talking about social media regulation.
“Leave my daughter out of your voice,” Haley said in response to Ramaswamy’s comments. “You’re just scum.”