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Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

TikTok, the short-form video sharing app owned by Chinese tech giant Bytedance, is attempting to distingush itself from its Chinese owner, but it remains caught in the escalating conflict between Washington and Beijing.

Driving the news: TikTok is bringing on outside experts, including 2 former congressmen, to take a look at its content moderation policies.

The big picture: The app insists it operates independently, but U.S. lawmakers are looking to investigate TikTok for censoring content to please China. Experts have also said TikTok could be turn into a Chinese weapon in the battle for personal data.

  • In a blog post Tuesday, TikTok said it would work with former Reps. Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) and Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), among other experts, to review its content moderation policies and overall transparency.
  • "It's amazingly rewarding to know that we're bringing joy to so many — but it also brings great responsibility on our part," Vanessa Pappas, TikTok's U.S. general manager, wrote.

Go deeper: TikTok is China's next big weapon

Go deeper

China's crypto throwdown

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

China's latest move to ban cryptocurrency shows how tough it will be for the technology to deliver on its backers' vision of disruptive, decentralized change.

The big picture: Control of the currency is a foundation of sovereignty, and governments don't plan on losing that control even as money inevitably turns digital.

D.C. homicides fueled by rundown properties

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Angela Washington was the last line of defense for residents at the Oak Hill Apartments in Southeast besieged by gun violence. Then, on the evening of Sept. 21, the 41-year-old special police officer was shot to death.

Why it matters: The District’s spike in gun violence is being linked partly to rundown properties that city officials and residents say have become magnets for criminal activity.

Biden's reengineer-America moment

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Senate's bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and President Biden's $3.5 trillion spending package could live or die this week — and take Democrats' fortunes with them. But all the minute-by-minute political drama obscures how much America could change if even a fraction of it passes.

The big picture: Anything short of total failure could have a transformative impact on day-to-day life — from how we move around to our access to the internet, paid family leave and child care, health care and college.