“The View” co-host Sara Haines warned on Thursday that TikTok was “creating a radical, young movement” in the U.S. after social media users shockingly lauded Osama bin Laden’s “Letter to America” this week.
Haines said she wished social media companies would eliminate anonymous users because misinformation was spreading at a “ridiculous level.”
“When we were talking about TikTok and the users that are getting – 76% of people 18 to 24 are on TikTok. The amount of those people who admit that’s their news source has doubled since 2020. It is not a coincidence we woke up this morning to a letter from Osama bin Laden going viral on TikTok, as he was lauded. This is a jihadist, hateful, despicable human being being lauded and if that’s your only source of news, which a lot of young people are not checking and balancing,” she said.
“There’s a lot of checks and balances to mainstream media, there are regulations, there are a lot of faces and heads and identified people behind the organizations that are fired, that are let go, that have to give corrections, that have to do a thousand things. We have a whole generation of people consuming TikTok as if it is the law and it is creating a radical, young movement right now that is scary,” Haines said.
Co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin also criticized the social media platform and told the hosts that they can’t forget its Chinese roots; TikTok is owned by the Chinese tech company ByteDance.
She said the app was meant to divide America from within, and added that it targets “the most vulnerable among us, which is the youngest generation.”
“In one study, they found that within two and a half minutes of getting on to TikTok you can be served up ads promoting suicide, promoting eating disorders. Those are the self-harm, mental health side effects of TikTok but it’s also seen a massive uptick in anti-American sentiment,” she said.
A TikTok influencer went viral this week for promoting Osama bin Laden’s “Letter to America,” and other users could be seen reacting to the letter as though it made them see the terrorist mastermind in a whole new light. The letter in question had been available to read on The Guardian for 20 years.
Online personality and pro-Palestinian activist Lynette Adkins urged her over 175,000 TikTok followers on Tuesday to read the letter, which The Guardian has since removed.
In the letter to the American people translated in English, bin Laden justifies al-Qaeda’s attacks against the U.S. because “you attacked us” and “You attacked us in Palestine.”
“Palestine, which has sunk under military occupation for more than 80 years. The British handed over Palestine, with your help and your support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for more than 50 years; years overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion, destruction and devastation,” bin Laden alleged.
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Fox News’ Jeffrey Clark contributed to this report.
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