TikTok: Your Worst Fears Confirmed

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Evan Turner, a former TikTok data scientist and Fortune reporter revealed that he had worked on a “project” which gave U.S. information to China. Turner said that his efforts were far more than what is usually done by social media apps, which upload all the data they can to their parent company’s server.

The Spectator reported that “Turner sent spreadsheets containing data on hundreds and thousands of US users every two weeks to ByteDance employees in Beijing”, [TikTok’s owner].

The New York Times reported last year that “driver’s licenses and other potentially illegal material, including child abuse materials, were accessible on the platform.” The information was often available in Lark “groups” — which are essentially chat rooms for employees — that had thousands of members. ByteDance’s headquarters is in Beijing, and it is closely tied to the Chinese Communist Party.

Turner added that worse, if it’s possible, “Americans were working in upper management who were complicit.”

After President Donald Trump’s failed attempt to ban TikTok, the company promised it would be independent of ByteDance. It would stop sending its data to Beijing and start using servers in the United States. Fortune reported that Turner said, “the secret chain of command contradicted the statements made by TikTok executives about their independence from ByteDance.”

This grown-up Cold War child who hates Communist China as much as the Soviet Union did back in the day is more concerned about the data ByteDance provides to the CCP than the manipulation of children by TikTok. What you need to know about the Western version of TikTok, is that I refer to it as social malware.

It’s not surprising that Chaya Raichik’s LibsOfTikTok is so rich in material. TikTok’s algorithm is tweaked to highlight the strangest, worst, and most divisive material. This is served to young minds that assume the strangest, worst, and most divisive are normal. Social media is what they and their friends are exposed to.

Every social contagion needs a path. ByteDance’s version of TikTok in the West was designed to be the autobahn without speed limits of social contagion. You can find out why many girls suddenly become “transgender” and have their breasts removed, even though gender dysphoria was, until recently, almost exclusively a male problem, by looking at TikTok.

There are also political manipulations. My younger son told me this morning how his friends, most of whom have TikTok, received tailored alerts a couple of weeks ago urging them not to ban TikTok. Wait until China or North Korea starts a shooting war in the Pacific and TikTok helps galvanize the anti-American/Japanese/Taiwanese/South Korean protests.

Beijing is on speed dial for American youth, which is why TikTok needs to either be banned or divested of ByteDance.

Zoom is a Chinese spy app that I use despite my children being banned from using TikTok. Zoom is the best videoconferencing app that I have ever used. I also don’t want to reveal any secrets, so I won’t be worried if Zoom calls home to Beijing.

TikTok’s ban is not a matter of freedom of expression. No one is telling anyone that they cannot upload any weirdness or wonder they want to create. The CCP does not have a First Amendment right to manipulate Americans.