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TikTok rarely used for extremist purposes, but some content becomes viral – UK Official

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Washington: Most people in the world do not use TikTok for extremist purposes, but some content, originally published there, becomes viral, Robin Simcox, Commissioner for Countering Extremism at the United Kingdom Home Office, said on Thursday.

“Quite obviously, TikTok is not used by most people for extremism purposes,” Simcox said during a conversation at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

He pointed out that there are almost 200 million monthly active TikTok users in the US and about 17 million in the UK.

Simcox warned that some extremist materials became viral after they were originally posted on TikTok. He stressed that this situation is not new, but social media platforms help distribute them.

“Clearly, however, social media put rocket boosters on their dissemination,” he added.

On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives passed legislation that requires TikTok to cut ties with its parent China-based company ByteDance within 180 days or face a ban in the US, amid concerns about user privacy and foreign influence ahead of the US presidential election in November.

TikTok, which is owned by the China-based company ByteDance, has denied that its application poses a security threat to US users. The United States, European Union, and Canada recently banned their government employees from using TikTok on official electronic devices.

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