Elon Musk recently questioned whether the short video app TikTok is leading to the collapse of civilization, following a new report that alleged the China-owned platform had obtained private U.S. user data.
Although the company has also previously claimed that it does not share user information with Beijing, and has a “world-renowned U.S.-based security team” to decide who can access this data, evidence shows employees had to turn to colleagues in China to decide how user data would flow.
Counting the United States as its largest market, TikTok has more than 1 billion active users globally. Washington has been scrutinizing app developers over the personal data they handle, especially when it involves U.S. military or intelligence personnel.
The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Musk later posted that perhaps it is “social media in general” that poses the risk to civilization.
He called censorship on Twitter a “civilization risk” in April. While negotiating a $44 billion buyout of Twitter, Musk has said his offer is about “the future of civilization,” not for profit.
The billionaire, who used to stay out of politics, has also declared his concerns over Twitter's apparent left-wing political bias.
“Unless it is stopped, the woke mind virus will destroy civilization and humanity will never” reach Mars, Musk responded.