First of all, a TikTok Ban is just plain un-American*. Russia bans apps when their leader doesn’t like what people say on them. China bans apps when their leader doesn’t like what people say on them. India bans apps when their leader doesn’t like what people say on them. So do Belarus, Egypt, Iran, Burundi, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Jordon… Are you getting the idea?
A TikTok Ban is clearly just silencing the free speech of a large swath of U.S. citizens (and the courts have said as much). Spend 5 minutes on TikTok and it is obvious the algorithm is tuned for demographics the current administration (2020) does not favor (and vice versa). Perhaps that in and of itself is evidence of foreign meddling? Even if it is, it sets a horrible precedent that political administrations can interfere with technology, business, and free speech on the grounds of “national security”. We were all shocked when we learned that FaceBook sold Americans private data to a British firm working for Russian operatives to influence the 2016 elections but Facebook is still free to operate. You can view all 3,000 Ad Campaigns for yourself if you doubt it (Downloads).
We don’t need a TikTok Ban and we don’t need a Facebook Ban and we don’t need to smash our SmartPhones and return to the “good ol’ days” when phones were just for talking. Instead, maybe we just realize that if SmartPhone platforms weren’t made for the express purpose of turning you into a product, there wouldn’t be anyone to target. If you weren’t a product, it would be really hard to target you. We like to say “Privacy is CyberSecurity for People“. Take a minute to reflect on how you use the Internet and just scale back what you share and you won’t need to fear Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon, the Government, or China, either.
*Not to mention, since when did the world’s leading Free Market Economy nationalize the property of other countries? Talk about un-American. Don’t be confused just because technically the U.S. State took the property and then handed it to another private actor by fiat… does it make it better if we call it re-demutualization instead of “nationalization”? You also shouldn’t be confused just because the actual outcome is (likely) that some U.S. companies will simply become non-controlling share-holders instead of the U.S. actually gaining control over TikTok.
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