American Airlines, the world’s largest airline, announced this week that its passengers will be able to use the controversial social network during their flights for free. The measure will be implemented just two months after the Biden administration reversed bans on the Chinese-origin virtual platform and removed security protections over TikTok implemented by former President Trump in 2020.
After a huge drop in the number of people traveling by air, as a result of the pandemic caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, airlines are implementing various strategies to encourage people to choose flying as a means of transportation again.
American Airlines has implemented in-flight entertainment as an incentive by partnering with TikTok to offer free use during travel. The news was announced in a press release from the company, which reads, “A.A. just added TikTok to its roster of free inflight offerings. Without having to purchase Wi-Fi, customers traveling on Viasat-equipped narrowbody aircraft can get 30-minutes of free access to TikTok, an entertainment platform powered by a global community of creatives.”
The airline’s press release goes on to inform its passengers that they can expect to find a wealth of content on the platform, including “travel inspiration” and “professional tips,” thanks to the “innovative partnership with TikTok.”
Criticism from those who understand the danger of a platform linked to the military and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) being massively used by Americans soon followed.
A concerned Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) wrote a letter to American Airlines Chairman and CEO Doug Parker.
“By partnering with TikTok, American Airlines is now lending its brand credibility to a company that jeopardizes national security and the data security of tens of millions of Americans, many of them minors,” Rubio wrote in his letter.
“I urge you to suspend American Airlines’ ‘innovative partnership’ with TikTok while the U.S. government completes its investigation into the national security risks posed by the Chinese-owned app,'” the letter continued.
While the airline’s actions in implementing strategies aimed at encouraging users to use planes again is understandable, what is reprehensible is the partnership with TikTok, which has been the subject of serious allegations and is currently being investigated by authorities just to confirm or not the seriousness of the allegations.
Meanwhile, former employees of the popular video platform, confirmed what former President Trump warned of in 2020. He said TikTok’s parent company Byte Dance, records, controls, and makes decisions of absolutely everything that happens in the U.S. version of TikTok.
As reported in June by news network CNBC, a group of former TikTok employees argued that ByteDance has access to Tik Tok’s data on users of its U.S. platform and is closely involved in the Los Angeles-based company’s decision-making and product development.
Cybersecurity experts continue to express concern that the CCP may use TikTok to spread propaganda or censor the U.S. audience, or to exert influence over users who may come to regret what they posted on the service.