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UK Parliament shuts down its TikTok account

UK Parliament shuts down its TikTok account.

The country’s legislature scrapped their page - which was launched last week - and all its content over the tech company’s links to China, as it owned by ByteDance, which has denied allegations of being controlled by the Chinese government.

London and Beijing have endured tense relations in the last few years with China sanctioning a number of UK lawmakers last year and the allegations of human rights abuses, such as against the Uyghur people.

Of their decision to close their account, a spokesperson said: "Based on member feedback, we are closing the pilot UK Parliament TikTok account earlier than we had planned”

They detailed that the account was an effort to get Gen Z and younger to become more aware of the procedures, conventions and going ons in politics.

The statement continued: "The account was a pilot initiative while we tested the platform as a way of reaching younger audiences with relevant content about Parliament."

A representative from the video-sharing app outlined to BBC News that the choice was "disappointing" that Westminster was not going to be able to share videos with their desired audience.

They also detailed that they are keen to “clarify any inaccuracies about our platform".

Concerns about the page - which were voiced by former Conservative party leader Iain Duncan Smith and ex leader contender Tom Tugendhat - were detailed in a letter to the Speakers of both chambers, the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The letter explored how “surprised and disappointed” by the account’s existence and that data security risks connected to the app were “considerable”.

They believe that TikTok were “unable to reassure MPs that the company could prevent data transfer to ByteDance, should the parent company make a request for it.”

In July, Theo Bertram, the company’s vice president for government relations and public policy in Europe wrote in a letter to Darren Jones MP denied divulging data to the President Xi Jinping.

He said: "We have never been asked to provide TikTok user data to the Chinese government, nor would we if asked".

Tory MP Nus Ghani expressed her gratitude to the Speakers for their decision to cut the channel and for “standing up for our values and protecting our data on Twitter, adding “common sense prevails”.

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