At the federal level, efforts to rein in Big Tech have gone nowhere with the big boys spreading a lot of money around, not only to politicians, but activists and organizations on both sides, turning them into unregistered lobbyists. TikTok learned from the best, buying up not only politicians like AOC and much of the Squad, but activists on the Left and the Right, who suddenly began denouncing any attempt to stop TikTok.
While buying up most of the political class and social media influencers, China forgot to buy Montana.
Montana became the first state in the nation Friday to pass a bill banning TikTok from operating in the state, a move that’s bound to face legal challenges but also serve as a testing ground for the TikTok-free America that many national lawmakers have envisioned.
The Montana House voted 54-43 to send the bill to Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte for his signature.
Previous efforts to rein in app stores and other Big Tech abuses gained traction in state legislatures even as companies like Google and Apple had bought much of D.C. I’ve said it before, don’t count on the federal government to enforce even its own laws, unless there are political reasons to do so, but states can and should take on that role where the feds have failed. We’re the ‘United States’, not a monarchy run out of the White House.
But TikTok’s response shows how craftily the Chinese company leans on trying to mimic and manipulate whichever electorate it’s trying to brainwash.
In response to the bill’s passage, a TikTok spokesperson said in a statement to CBS News on Friday afternoon, “The bill’s champions have admitted that they have no feasible plan for operationalizing this attempt to censor American voices and that the bill’s constitutionality will be decided by the courts. We will continue to fight for TikTok users and creators in Montana whose livelihoods and First Amendment rights are threatened by this egregious government overreach.”
The ChiComs have thoughts on “egregious government overreach”.
But the ChiComs have the cash to hire plenty of Americans, including Republicans and conservatives, who will start talking about “First Amendment rights are threatened by this egregious government overreach” as if their Chinese Communist overlords care about such things.
Beijing thinks that we’re easy to manipulate and considering how effectively TikTok has bought half of our political class which is busy vocally defending it, either affirmatively or by going on the attack, our enemies have a point.
We’re distracted, easily pliable, jump from one thing to another, and we’re led by corrupt politicians and social media grifters who always have one hand out and can be bought for a song no matter how incorruptible and principled they pretend to be.
Maybe Montana can do what D.C. won’t.