Int'l Interiors submits:
by Judith Bergman • January 16, 2023 at 5:00 am
Chinese law requires all Chinese companies to turn over information to the Communist Party upon request -- and ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, reportedly employs more than 130 Party members to ensure compliance, among other matters.
- "Its algorithm is at once simple and sinister. Download the app on your smartphone and you have given China access to all your data... And history shows they use that data for nefarious purposes." — Adonis Hoffman, The Hill, October 18, 2022.
- "First, the app can track cellphone users' locations and collect internet-browsing data — even when users are visiting unrelated websites... That TikTok, and by extension the CCP, has the ability to survey every keystroke teenagers enter on their phones is disturbing... it could also be used to subtly indoctrinate American citizens. TikTok has already censored references to politically sensitive topics, including the treatment of workers in Xinjiang, China, and the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square." — Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Mike Gallagher, The Washington Post, November 10, 2022.
- "It's almost like [the Chinese] recognize that technology is influencing kids' development, and they make their domestic version a spinach version of TikTok, while they ship the opium version to the rest of the world.... If you're under 14 years old, they show you science experiments you can do at home, museum exhibits, patriotism videos and educational videos," said Harris, adding that children in China were limited to only 40 minutes a day on the app.... There's a survey of pre-teens in the U.S. and China asking, 'what is the most aspirational career that you want to have?' and in the U.S., the No. 1 was a social media influencer, and in China, the No. 1 was astronaut. You allow those two societies to play out for a few generations and I can tell you what your world is going to look like." — Tristan Harris, former Google employee, 60 Minutes, November 24, 2022.
- In December, it was revealed that ByteDance had used the app to surveil several journalists to track down the journalists' sources.
The United States recently banned TikTok from all federal government devices over growing security concerns. That is a good start.
TikTok, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned at the beginning of December, is controlled by the Chinese government, which is a national security concern.
TikTok, a video-sharing app owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has, according to TikTok's own estimates, 1 billion users worldwide. In 2021, TikTok had approximately 87 million users in the US, according to Statista. Disturbingly, a recent study found that 10% of US adults get their news from the Chinese app, up from 3% in 2020.
Wray said that China's government can control the app's recommendation algorithm, "which allows them to manipulate content, and if they want to, to use it for influence operations."