Students Ask U.S. Senator Mark Warner a Question

The Wakefield Country Day School journalism class participated in a conference call with U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, and other reporters to ask the senator a question.

Freshman Will Wofford asked, “If the ban on TikTok goes through, do you think this sets a precedent for other social media organizations, even those owned by U.S. companies, as they may also pose a similar threat to spying or manipulation by AI?"

Warner replied that he was interested in online safety regulations, data portability, and using common sense rules-of-the-road. Warner said he has no interest in banning or prohibiting; the difference with TikTok is any Chinese company's first obligation is to the Chinese government, not shareholders, not students. TikTok is not even allowed in China. Warner stated he is interested in a reform of Section 230, which is basically a law that says online platforms have no responsibility for their content. The senator concluded, “If in your high school newspaper you put something out there that’s a bold-face lie, you’re going to get in trouble. In TV and radio stations there are rules of the road around broadcasting. Shouldn’t we have similar rules around social media?”