Trump Jr has endorsed the rival platform while stoking fears about the Chinese government’s ‘obvious control’ of TikTok and alleged mishandling of coronavirus
Ahead of Donald Trump’s proposed TikTok ban – which, if a sale isn’t completed by September 15, is set to go ahead later this month – many of the platform’s most popular creators have been migrating to the US-based video sharing app Triller. Last month, Donald Trump himself even joined the TikTok competitor, where he declares himself a “professional at technology” and shares Joe Biden memes.
Now, Donald Trump Jr is also jumping on the bandwagon. In his first Triller post, a rant in which he targets TikTok specifically, he makes claims about its “obvious control by the Chinese government” and stokes fears about the platform’s threat to national security.
Triller, on the other hand, he endorses as an alternative, referencing claims against TikTok’s owners ByteDance (which the Beijing-based company has denied) to bill the US platform as: “an American company that’s not saving your data, that’s not going to eventually weaponise it against your children.”
Trump Jr also voices concerns about social media in general in the video, saying that he’s glad it wasn’t around when he was young enough to be doing “some of the dumb things that all kids actually do”.
Then, bringing the conversation back to TikTok, he adds: “When you have an app like TikTok, where the Chinese government could be turning on your kid’s camera, turning on your kid’s video, listening in, turning on their mic at any random time, not just when they’re using the app, not just the videos that they put up… this is something that could come back and haunt your kids forever.”
Later in the rant, Trump Jr also repeats previous allegations against China about its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, appearing to suggest that the virus was allowed to spread worldwide by the Chinese government, and linking it to the security concerns surrounding TikTok.
“If you’ve been watching they way they handled coronavirus, where they lied to the world (...) you think they’re going to be good with your data?” he asks. “You think they’re not going to weaponise your kids’ data eventually against them?”
As of writing, Donald Trump Jr is promoted in Triller’s suggestions of people to follow. Hashtags promoting controversial conspiracy theories such as QAnon and Pizzagate – which have prompted crackdowns from other social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok – have also been allowed to spread on the platform since it shot to number one in the app store in 50 countries back in August.