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Frank McCourt Aims For “New Internet” In TikTok Bid – And Parents Of Tragedy Are Listening

Billionaire Frank McCourt is pitching investors on his bid to acquire TikTok by framing it as an opportunity to create a new internet platform that gives users control over their own data. McCourt has told CNBC reporters he does not want to own or lead TikTok itself but rather aims to build “a new internet” and “a new, improved alternative” to existing social media.

McCourt’s vision has drawn interest from a notable group: parents whose children died after being influenced by or bullied on social media platforms. Sam Chapman, whose son Sammy died from a fentanyl overdose after allegedly buying drugs on Snapchat, says McCourt’s safer internet concept would appeal to “hundreds of thousands of parents” concerned about child online safety.

As a business executive and philanthropist, McCourt has long advocated for a user-owned data model through his Project Liberty initiative. Project Liberty is working with Guggenheim Securities and law firm Kirkland & Ellis to structure a deal to acquire TikTok’s viral video platform.

As CNBC reports, McCourt believes ByteDance will be compelled to sell TikTok if the courts rule against the company in its lawsuit challenging the new U.S. law that would ban the app without a sale. He portrayed his group as a “non-threatening buyer” focused on TikTok’s community rather than its algorithm.

Another prospective TikTok buyer is an investor group led by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. When asked about Mnuchin’s bid, McCourt noted for CNB Mnuchin’s ties to Saudi funding sources, stating: “If you replace Chinese money with Saudi money, what’s been solved here?”

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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