TikTok is a national security risk and yet people are still using it by the millions. President Trump signed an executive order to ban TikTok by prohibiting United States citizens from doing business with the Chinese company ByteDance that owns TikTok. However the restrictions have been stalled in court since last August. At the time of the TikTok lawsuit ByteDance claimed they had 100 million active users in the United States.
The main concern in the executive order seems to be TikTok allows the CCP to collect Americans’ personal information including federal employees and it can be used for disinformation and blackmail. But as TheHatedOne points out, US-based social media platforms already do the same thing. Facecrook has collected personal user data way before TikTok was around and it has more than twice as many users today as TikTok did in August. A consequence of Facecrook’s data collection is it enabled Cambridge analytica to manipulate the US presidential election in 2016 and yet the Federal Trade Commission only fined Bookface $5 billion dollars. Bookface made $15 billion in just the first quarter of 2019. The fine was barely a slap on the wrist.
The moral is if you’re a US-based company that endangers national security through personal data collection and manipulation of public opinion through propaganda you get a slap on the wrist from the FTC while the NSA pats you on the back. If you’re a Chinese-based company doing more or less the same you get an executive order banning you from doing business in the United States. And the 2 core issues of centralization of power and proprietary software of which the other issues are a symptom never even get so much as a mention in the mainstream media or the government.
I recommend TheHatedOne’s commentary on TikTok because he actually addresses the proprietariness and centralization of power in the case of TikTok. Have a listen.