TikTok is allegedly being used by Chinese migrants to cross the United States’ southern border, first reported by 60 Minutes on Sunday. In interviews at the border of the U.S. and Mexico, Chinese migrants said they were able to discover weak points in America’s border wall through TikTok.
Videos on TikTok written in Mandarin provided step-by-step instructions for crossing the border and even hiring a smuggler, according to the report. Chinese migrants are the fastest-growing group crossing illegally into the United States from Mexico.
TikTok did not offer an official statement for this article.
As TikTok reportedly aids Chinese migrants in their journey to America’s southern border, United States legislators are actively debating a bipartisan immigration bill. President Biden called the bill the most humane, yet “toughest set of reforms to secure the border ever.” Senator James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma, and Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, are leading negotiations on the bill.
The senators and the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.
It wouldn’t be entirely surprising if people were using TikTok to cross the border. In other international conflicts, people have used open-source applications to their advantage. Google Maps disabled live traffic in Israel and Gaza back in October due to fears the app would be used to track troop movements. The same tactic was used when Russia first invaded Ukraine. In another instance, Chinese protesters used Airdrop to send anti-government protest messages.
TikTok has added a slew of new features that have users wondering if the app has gone off the deep end in recent months. The app is pushing TikTok shop harder than ever and is even testing out a feature to turn every video into an ad. The app also just blew its contract with Universal Music Group, erasing popular artists like Taylor Swift and Bad Bunny from the platform as a result. 60 Minutes’ report about the app aiding in illegal immigration certainly adds to this growing list of concerns.