Further Reasons to Ban TikTok

And not just force its sale by ByteDance. ByteDance is domiciled in the People’s Republic of China, and as such it’s subject to PRC laws, including the PRC’s national security law requiring PRC companies to answer queries from that nation’s intelligence community, queries which can range from “what do you know about this subject in that country” to “go find out, conduct the espionage.” That’s reason enough to ban the company (that subordination of PRC-domiciled companies to that nation’s intelligence apparatus is reason enough to ban all PRC-domiciled companies from the US, but that’s a different story).

Another reason to ban TikTok stems from this claim made by the company in response to the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s unanimous vote (that’s 50 (of 52 Committee members; 2 weren’t present to vote) Representatives of both parties agreeing on something) to advance legislation that would require TikTok to be sold by ByteDance to a non-PRC affiliated company or be barred from operating in the US. That claim by an anonymous spokesman for TikTok:

This legislation has a predetermined outcome: a total ban of TikTok in the United States. The government is attempting to strip 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression.

That’s a lie on two fronts, explicitly intended to create hysteria. The first front is the business about “total ban.” It is no such thing, and TikTok managers—and their ByteDance owners—know full well: that claim cynically ignores the primary option the legislation offers, the sale of TikTok to an acceptable, non-PRC affiliated buyer.

The second front is that business about stripping TikTok users of their Constitutional right to free expression. Of course, it’s no such thing, as those TikTok and ByteDance persons also know full well. Were ByteDance to refuse to sell and TikTok barred, no one’s free speech would be stripped away, only a single pipeline would be stripped away. All of TikTok’s users, every single one of them, would have access to any and all of a plethora of other pipelines through which to speak, pipelines like Facebook YouTube, Gab, Truth Social, CloutHub, GETTR, MeWe, LinkedIn, Parler, X, and on and on. Further, were TikTok to be sold, that question would never even arise since the TikTok pipeline would be free to continue operating.

Additionally, the ability of this PRC company to mobilize all of its members to manipulate an American internal political matter demonstrates the influence the PRC is able to exert on American domestic politics.

As lawmakers prepared to consider the legislation on Thursday, users of the app…saw notifications urging them to complain to their House representative about the bill. Then the app let people call their representative with a few presses of buttons, fueling congressional concerns about TikTok.
TikTok’s campaign quickly overwhelmed the phone lines of some congressional offices…illustrated how TikTok could mobilize an army of people and gather data to push user behavior, which some lawmakers say is the exact reason they don’t want the company to have ties back to [the PRC].

That PRC manipulation by itself is yet another to ban TikTok altogether.

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