By Linda Sutter – March 23, 2023
On rare occasions do you ever witness a bi-partisan congressional hearing where both sides of the fence are joined together? But today, our congress asked appropriate questions about TikTok.
Dr. Shou Chew is the CEO of TikTok and is currently under congressional scrutiny regarding TikTok policies, regulations and procedures. TikTok offices are in Singapore and Los Angeles.
First and foremost it must be mentioned that Mr. Chew received $1.5 billion dollars from the United States for the business of TikTok.
The question was asked, what is the $1.5 billion used for? That question went unanswered. It is worthy to note TicTok has 1500 employees. It was not clear if that was both in Singapore and the United States.
The pressing issue is this. TikTok is owned by Byte Dance, a Beijiing based Corporate owner that is subject to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This corporation is subject to Chinese data laws.
What does that mean? It is very likely that the CCP are using our youth to collect data on Americans. But there are other concerns about their policies and their inability to regulate their policies.
During the congressional hearing a video was submitted and seen by the congress. The video depicts an 18 year old youth playing with a loaded weapon while video taping herself for Tik Tok. The gun went off and she died. This video was left on Tik Tok, and while it is no longer currently available, it was seen by many before taken down.
Kids under the age of 17 are not allowed to stay on Tik Tok for more than 60 minutes. But Tik Tok does not follow through with their policies. Tik Tok allows challenges that end in death and could not give the statistics of how many Americans have died due to these challenges.
It was well noted in the congressional hearings that Challenges resulting in death are not allowed in China, but are allowed in America.
Already there are protests in some cities asking not to ban Tik Tok. Outside the capitol, Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Mark Pocan, (D-Wisconsin), and Robert Garcia, (D-California), stood with protesters where Bowman claimed, “Republicans are racist against China” and that’s why they want to keep Tik Tok. Maybe Jamaal should have been inside where the bi-partisan congressional hearings were taking place and where the Democrats AND Republicans voiced the same concerns.
Most people understand our freedom of speech. The first right amendment. However, even within the First Right Amendment you can’t yell “FIRE” in a theater. Those who do not understand common sense are standing on the sidelines protesting for unreasonable accommodations before understanding what is involved.
There is no doubt that if we are to keep Tik Tok major changes need to be addressed to keep our youth safe, the security of our country safe while following the guidelines of the First Right Amendment.
One thought on “CHINA, CHINA, CHINA – Should TikTok be Banned?”
Kudos! Another valuable article Linda. Here are some additional details about this sophisticated spying device that I found online at Wired’s UK site. A link to the full article follows:
Even if you do not sign-up for an account;
“TikTok knows the device you are using, your location, IP address, search history, the content of your messages, what you’re viewing and for how long. It also collects device identifiers to track your interactions with advertisers. TikTok “infers” factors such as your age range, gender and interests based on the information it has about you. In the US, TikTok can collect biometric information including face and voiceprints.”
“TikTok says it collects text, images and video from your device’s clipboard if you copy and paste content to or from the app, or share it with a third-party platform.”
“While it’s normal for a video app to request camera and microphone access, “the privacy permissions also allow TikTok to secure detailed information about your location using GPS and other apps you’re running.”
“Every time you use the platform, the algorithm is updated with new data so it can understand you more precisely,” says Jake Moore, cybersecurity specialist at security company ESET.
“TikTok can tell if you find a video funny and why, if you’re interested in sports or music, whether you’re religious, into politics or concerned about specific causes. It also knows if you’ve been feeling down lately.”
Excerpted from Wired UK: All the ways TikTok tracks you and how to stop it.