Every Friday, I present a topic or question for our merry band of thinkers, leaders, and pirates to discuss in an open thread. Here is this week’s conversation starter:
President Biden has reportedly scuttled the sale of TikTok to Oracle and to Walmart, and is considering completely banning the social media company from the United States. Question: Should TikTok be banned in the US? Why or why not?
President Biden has reportedly scuttled the sale of TikTok to Oracle and to Walmart, and is considering completely banning the social media company from the United States.
Question: Should TikTok be banned in the US? Why or why not?
My knowledge of Tik Tok is very limited, but if a China owned company in anyway is connected to the government I would ban them. Without knowing the data that would be made available to a government that has no respect for privacy I think it foolish to use them. Now if a US company can purchase and sever all ties to China I see no reason to prevent that.
I am a fan of banning TikTok and/or using it as an opportunity to introduce new policy and regulations to hold social media providers accountable. Highly recommend watching "the Social Dilemma" and then following up with Doowan Lee and Zignal Labs - not only are the consumers the product for social media giants but they are being influenced in a variety of ways using digital techniques that the military legally has to request to use for psychological operations. The social media industry has perfected these techniques based on psychology and neurology to maximize their profit and data collection. Several problems here:
1) Creation of echo chambers that lead to homogenous thought communities that are unable to critically think or debate and unwilling to deviate from dangerous information even when it has been shown to be inaccurate. These groups may be be easily co-opted and influenced by foreign and domestic actors towards their own ends, resulting in additional threats to national security.
2) Loss of millions of dollars in revenue per each individual if these companies had to pay for access to our personal data (Data Dividend Project and Humanity Forward are two grass roots efforts to work toward changing this via policy or personal control of our data)
3) The use of psychological techniques that are incredibly effective at creating addictive behaviors, especially in our young people, that are illegal for military and government use - this is the most distubing from my perspective because nowhere in the legal and privacy agreements are users provided with a clear disclosure of the techniques being used, the likely and anticipated effects and/or long term mental health effects. This should be addressed an regulated across the board but especially for those under the age of 18.
4) Russian and China are very effective at connecting with and engaging/steering portions of the population in dangerous directions via existing platforms in the USA. Why would we want to grant access to their platforms in our market which we have less control and visibility into while they can gain greater access to our young people and push their agenda using these same techniques?
My thoughts - thanks for an interesting question
As true conservatives and republicans, we have to make sure we differentiate between what we believe is wrong and what wee should control, otherwise we become like the democratic party, wanting control over everything. TikTok shouldn't be banned, but we should make sure that the spying and data collecting are highly publicized, so everyone goes in eyes wide open. If you want to use it (I don't), fine, but beware the consequences. Also, if there are technical mechanisms to prevent the spying (or minimize) we could use them. For example, Zoom allowing users to choose a proxy server in the US, NOT in China - I'm not endorsing it as guaranteed effective, but it's a good example of a measure to take.
A Chinese owned or operated TikTok should be banned. The Chinese can use this platform to spread disinformation with phony videos and thereby attempt to control the US populations which is very gullible. We have enough of this already dealing with Facebook and Twitter. Why add the Chinese?
Yes - They are the data mining arm of the Chinese Communist Party.
Of course it should be banned until a company outside the PRC purchases it. When President Obama shut down the F-22 and hypersonic missile programs the PRC upped production of their new fighters and upped development of their hypersonic missile. They now have the largest army, navy and air force in the world. They’ve intimidated the U.S. into backing off the “Gang of 4” efforts to keep China from intimidating Japan, South Korea, etc. and invading Taiwan. And finally, their cyber penetrations of the U.S. government and industry have been incredibly successful. Anyone who thinks the PRC is just a competitor and not an aggressive enemy is either wearing blinders or already under the thumb of the government in Beijing.
Yes, absolutely we should ban TikTok. We should ban all foreign apps that collect data on Americans. Frankly, we need to crackdown on all apps that collect data without express permission by the user, too. These pop up ads related to verbal discussions are evidence of big tech listening without permission.