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BBC Boss to Warn About TikTok & Co.: “U.S. and Chinese Algorithms” Could Be Future “Tastemakers”

BBC director general Tim Davie is set to double down on his warnings about social media giants, such as TikTok and Facebook, in a Tuesday speech.

The chief of the U.K. public broadcaster will criticize global social media players for causing “polarization and social division,” the Telegraph reported ahead of the speech. Davie will also call “U.S. and Chinese algorithms the potential tastemakers of the future,” adding: “Shared moments and unifying cultural experiences are increasingly rare.”

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The newspaper report did not quote the BBC boss as mentioning specific companies, but his comments were widely seen as calling out the likes of TikTok, Facebook and X (formerly Twitter).

In line with that, the Telegraph report said that TikTok, which the U.S. Senate is set to consider banning unless its Chinese owner ByteDance sells it, said via a spokeswoman that it does not operate in China and that the BBC maintains multiple TikTok accounts. The company has also denied that it could be used as an espionage tool for the Chinese government.

Facebook declined to comment, according to the Telegraph. A spokesman though referenced a statement from last year that highlighted that less than 3 percent of users’ feeds are made up of news content.

Last week, Davie called the BBC “fiercely independent” and typically “impartial” despite such challenges as the “storm of social media.”

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