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Ramaswamy defends TikTok use

The 38-year-old entrepreneur and GOP White House hopeful, who joined TikTok earlier this month, faced pushback at Wednesday night’s debate over the app’s ties to China.

 

The video-based social media platform is owned by the Beijing-based company ByteDance, prompting concerns about data privacy and national security from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

 

However, Ramaswamy argued that joining TikTok was necessary in order to reach younger generations in the 2024 race.

 

“I have a radical idea for the Republican Party: We need to win elections,” Ramaswamy said. “And part of how we win elections is reaching the next generation of young Americans where they are.”

“So while the Democrats are running rampant reaching the next generation 3-to-1, there’s exactly one person in the Republican Party that talks a big game about reaching young people, and that’s me,” he added.

 

Fellow GOP hopeful Nikki Haley slammed her rival’s take on the social media platform, calling it “infuriating.”

“TikTok is one of the most dangerous social media apps that we could have,” she retorted, adding: “Honestly, every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber for what you say.”

 

While Ramaswamy defended his use of TikTok on Wednesday night, he also appeared to back controversial proposals to restrict social media usage for children under 16 years old.

 

“This isn’t a Republican point or a Democrat point,” he said. “But if you’re 16 years old or under, you should not be using an addictive social media product, period.”

 

Concerns around children’s online safety have emerged as a rare unifying issue in Washington, but more restrictive proposals such as the one Ramaswamy suggested have not garnered bipartisan support.

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