Jamal Brown, a former official in charge of communications for the Biden administration and the Pentagon, has joined TikTok, a social media platform owned by China. According to the New York Post, Brown has been the deputy press secretary for the Pentagon since February 2021. Brown previously held the position of top communications official for both the Biden administration and the Pentagon.Brown was the national press secretary for President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign before that. Additionally, Brown worked for the Obama administration in the Office of Management and Budget for six years.
As politicians on both sides of the aisle consider the social media site’s popularity to be a threat to national security, Brown’s appointment has raised some concerns. TikTok accounts are available to more than 86 million Americans, or more than a quarter of the country’s population, and this number is steadily rising. ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, is governed by Chinese Communist Party law and must provide user data upon request. According to FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, the only way to mitigate the threat that TikTok poses to U.S. security is to prohibit the social media app in the United States. Carr states that there is no world in which you could come up with sufficient protection on the data that you could have sufficient confidence that it is not finding its way back into the Chinese Communist Party.
Through its accelerator program, which aims to “elevate the voices of Black-owned businesses on TikTok through exclusive access to resources, benefits, and networking opportunities,” the platform is also assisting Black businesses in the United States. The program gives national exposure and also the resources and tools black entrepreneurs need to succeed on TikTok.