The famous TikTok app is accusing Facebook of copying their platform in attempt of putting them out of business the United States.
According to NPR, Kevin Mayer, who left Disney in May to oversee TikTok’s U.S. operation, delivered his sharp criticism in a blog post on Wednesday, just hours before Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before Congress about whether the company’s online dominance squashes competition.
Kevin Mayer stated that Facebook-owned Instagram has announced Reels, the tech giant’s answer to TikTok. It is expected to be rolled out in early August. The effort represents the second time Facebook has attempted to undercut TikTok’s success. Earlier this month, Facebook shut down Lasso, a TikTok clone that never took off.
Mayer says TikTok welcomes competition — “bring it on,” he writes — but he suggests Facebook is attempting to tap into the growing pressure in Washington to squeeze TikTok out of the U.S. altogether. TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, is based in China. That has led both Democrats and Republicans in Washington to question whether TikTok poses a national security concern.
“But let’s focus our energies on fair and open competition in service of our consumers, rather than maligning attacks by our competitor — namely Facebook — disguised as patriotism and designed to put an end to our very presence in the US,” Mayer wrote in the post.
With all this being said rumors have surface that Facebook will even pay TikTok Influencers to switch to Reels. The company is said to be dishing out hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Zuckerberg says Facebook believes in competition and free expression, but “there’s no guarantee our values will win out.”
He continued saying, “China is building its own version of the internet focused on very different ideas, and they are exporting their vision to other countries.”
According to Mayer Tiktok will not wait for regulation to come, but instead the company has taken the first step by launching a Transparency and Accountability Center for moderation and data practices. Experts can observe our moderation policies in real-time, as well as examine the actual code that drives our algorithms. This puts us a step ahead of the industry, and we encourage others to follow suit.”
TikTok, Mayer noted, also plans to hire 10,000 workers in the U.S.
“TikTok has become the latest target, but we are not the enemy. The bigger move is to use this moment to drive deeper conversations around algorithms, transparency, and content moderation, and to develop stricter rules of the road,” Mayer said.