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March 15, 2024

Wednesday, the House overwhelmingly passed a bill that would ban the social media app TikTok if it doesn’t divest from its Chinese co-owners. Critics of TikTok say it’s both a CCP spy app and a form of “information-driven mental warfare,” a Trojan horse designed to hook young Americans and push destructive propaganda that’s undermining American values.

The bill now goes to the Senate where its future is uncertain, and not just because of the massive lobbying effort funded by TikTok. Some liberals and libertarian-leaning conservatives are actually in agreement that the government shouldn’t be threatening to ban TikTok or any other information platform because it’s a violation of free speech. Others argue that TikTok is majority-owned by Americans and the government should be concentrating on protecting privacy, policing surveillance and monitoring dangerous content and not on who owns it.

Even Trump is against a TikTok ban (FYI: it’s not really a ban; that’s just a threat to force divestiture), saying on his own site Truth Social, “If you get rid of TikTok, Facebook and Zuckerschmuck will double their business. I don’t want Facebook, who cheated in the last Election, doing better. They are a true Enemy of the People!”

Even Tucker Carlson is on TikTok, and while President Biden denounces it, his campaign has a whole staff set up to push his reelection on TikTok.

While I personally don’t care for it, I don’t know if this particularly nasty genie can be put back into the bottle, considering how many young Americans rely on it almost exclusively for their news, which is almost as scary as the idea of it being run by communist China. My prediction is that there will be no ban, and if it makes it through the Senate (a big IF), the bill will be rewritten to focus entirely on severing ties with China.

Meanwhile, there are other critics who wonder why anyone cares that much about Chinese spying online when everyone else is already spying on everything we do online. Check out this op-ed by Mike Pottage at WND about the access that Microsoft, Google and other tech giants already have to our documents, private photos and every keystroke we make. It might make you want to go back to writing on Big Chief tablets and communicating via carrier pigeon.

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