China went shopping for traitors and didn’t have to go too far past the obvious sources: the Squad and other lefty congressmembers.
A group of progressive members of Congress plans to mount a public defense of the social media app TikTok against the backdrop of bipartisan efforts to facilitate a ban of the app in the U.S.
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), a member of the progressive “Squad,” is holding a press conference on Wednesday evening with more than 20 TikTok creators opposing a ban of the app.
At least two fellow progressives, both co-chairs of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, will join Bowman: Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) and Robert Garcia (D-Calif.).
Bowman and Pocan spoke at a rally with TikTok influencers who were flown in by TikTok.
Several creators who spoke to NBC News ahead of the rally said they felt motivated to spread awareness to lawmakers about the impact TikTok has on their livelihoods and communities. Many said that TikTok flew them to D.C. to participate in the press conference.
And the story wouldn’t be complete without a nonprofit in the game.
In 2020, Aidan Kohn-Murphy used TikTok to rally support for Joe Biden. Now, he’s trying to use the platform to stop Biden from killing it.
“I’m not defending TikTok as a company, I’m defending my entire generation,” said the 19-year-old Harvard freshman who, as a high-schooler during the 2020 campaign founded a group called TikTok for Biden. It has since changed its name to Gen Z for Change and formally incorporated as a political nonprofit and, according to Kohn-Murphy, it now includes 500 creators with a combined 500 million followers on multiple platforms.
Gen Z for Change is a 501(c)(4). That means it’s a perfect vehicle for dark money. Is any of that money coming from TikTok or any of the organizations brought in to defend it?