The push to ban TikTok had stalled after the company recruited half the Left and a few portions of the Right to defend it. Ban TikTok and you’ll alienate Gen Z, we’re told and it’s a violation of “free market principles”.
Here’s what TikTok’s free market principles look like.
A former executive at ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, has accused the technology giant of a “culture of lawlessness,” including stealing content from rival platforms Snapchat and Instagram in its early years, and called the company a “useful propaganda tool for the Chinese Communist Party.”…
Among the most striking claims in Mr. Yu’s lawsuit is that ByteDance’s offices in Beijing had a special unit of Chinese Communist Party members sometimes referred to as the Committee, which monitored the company’s apps, “guided how the company advanced core Communist values” and possessed a “death switch” that could turn off the Chinese apps entirely.
“The Committee maintained supreme access to all the company data, even data stored in the United States,” the complaint said.
Of course, they did. It’s a Chinese company operating under a Communist dictatorship. It’s a given that every company ultimately owes its allegiance to its police state and is used to conduct operations against the rest of the world.
Yet we keep getting these nonsensical arguments.
“If the government banned TikTok, it would undermine the free speech and association of millions of users,” EFF
A TikTok ban would “limit Americans’ political discussion, artistic expression, free exchange of ideas,” ACLU
“While its enemies paint it as nothing but a tool of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), TikTok is a private, commercial business with multinational ownership. The app has attracted an enormous community outside of China who enjoy using it to watch and exchange videos, comments, and live sessions.” Reason Magazine
“TikTok’s mission appears to be, like most other companies, to make money and lots of it. TikTok is cooperating through Committee on Foreign Investment in the US to make sure all data on Americans is protected from any Chinese government snooping. TikTok has agreed to house all the data on Oracle’s Cloud with access to US government oversight.” Senator Rand Paul
TikTok is dedicated to advancing Communist principles. Everything its executives promised about data use was already shown to be a lie. And if Senator Paul seriously believes that ByteDance would deny its own government access to anything it wanted, he clearly doesn’t have the faintest idea how China works.
Neither it seems do most leftists or libertarians.
It’s one thing to oppose a TikTok ban on grounds of precedent (literally the only conceivable reason to oppose it), but TikTok’s defenders keep acting like a platform has First Amendment rights (it does not) while repeating TikTok’s own claims that we can absolutely trust a Chinese Communist operation.