Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., told Newsmax on Wednesday that reports Facebook paid Republican consulting firm Targeted Victory to malign their competitor, TikTok, were troubling.
According to internal emails shared with The Washington Post, employees with the firm allegedly worked to undermine TikTok through a national media and lobbying campaign to portray the app as a danger to children and society.
"They not only are engaged in misinformation and a smear campaign, but they actually are alleging that TikTok has done some bad things that originated on Facebook," Buck said while appearing on "Spicer & Co."
"So, they actually are blaming TikTok for their own failures to mitigate bad behavior and somehow trying to get TikTok – ruin their reputation," the Colorado congressman added.
Buck also commented on the recent hiring of a former Trump White House deputy chief of staff to Facebook, saying the company was "trying to buy their way into favor and trying to develop relationships that they didn't have."
"I think what they're trying to do is curry favor with Republicans and hope that some of these, maybe antitrust bills or other bills that they are opposed to, they would gain some influence," he continued.
The congressman said that although he has concerns with TikTok for their connections to the Chinese Communist Party, he believes the actions taken by Facebook were done in bad faith.
"We all have concerns about TikTok, but from a purely business standpoint, for Facebook to engage in this conduct is really reprehensible," Buck stated. "And I would say that if any company - whether it's a monopoly, whether it censors Republicans, conservatives or not - no company should be out in the marketplace telling lies about its competitors in an attempt to gain more market share."
"If they want more market share, they should out-produce their competitors. They should be innovating more and investing more in the market."
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