TikTok, a social media app embedded in the Chinese Communist Party, has silenced at least 11 accounts that promote free speech or opinions contradictory to left-wing ideas.
The MRC CensorTrack database found that “TikTok canceled accounts associated with no fewer than 11 pro-free speech organizations since January 2019. Satire accounts, various pro-free speech groups and commentators, pro-life groups and even the MRC’s own MRCTV account, are among those that TikTok shut down.”
Throttled accounts include:
- Timcast IRL
- The Babylon Bee
- Daily Wire host Michael Knowles,
- Lt. Col. Allen West
- Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton
- Live Action
- Students For Life of America
- Young American Foundation
Several of these users reported a notification that TikTok had “permanently banned” their account, without an option to appeal. Then, all of sudden, they received notice of reactivation without explanation.
At least when Twitter and Facebook ban an account for free thinking they cite some bogus violation against their “hateful content” or “misinformation” policies. TikTok does not bother defending its politically-motivated rulings.
TikTok is the most ominous social media service available. Executives at Twitter and Facebook answer to the White House, leaked documents show. Executives at TikTok answer to Beijing, the home of its parent company ByteDance.
BuzzFeed News reviewed over 80 internal meetings to learn that China has access to all U.S. data on TikTok, despite the service’s claims to the contrary. Stunning, right?
During the meetings, employees referred to a particular Beijing-based engineer as “Master Admin.” The reports say he “has access to everything” on TikTok. Everything could mean even the messages one sends privately.
In addition to harvesting U.S. information and barring conservative accounts for having opinions that the CCP does not appreciate, parent company TikTok has developed what the industry considers the most sophisticated algorithm in tech.
Here’s how TikTok exploits users, from our column in December:
The document shows that TikTok puts all of its resources into what it calls the “ultimate goal” of infiltrating people’s minds to determine user value, long-term user value, creator value, and platform value.
In essence, TikTok has built a business model around how much time a user spends on its platforms and how frequently he or she returns. Based on its findings, TikTok stooges then stop at nothing to make each user addicted to its service.
Once TikTok finds a user’s individual weaknesses — such as, per a report, #breakup, #sad, #depression — it latches on to build a customized feed to exploit that person’s emotions.
So if you have a TikTok account, know that its algorithm finds your vulnerabilities and then uses them to keep you coming back for more. In doing so, TikTok strips away your independence because you relinquish control over your satisfaction to the mercy of likes, comments, and playtimes without realizing it.
You can read that full piece here.
Several U.S. officials have warned of the national security threat the app poses. In June, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr called on the CEOs of Google and Apple to remove the TikTok app from their stores due to the service storing “swaths of sensitive data.”
There is good news for free-speech advocates, however:
China can’t spy on your private information if TikTok expels you from the app.