(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) Founder of leftist news outlet Vox, Ezra Klein, published an op-ed in The New York Times calling for the Biden administration to place restrictions on TikTok, Big League Politics reported.
Klein also wrote about the app’s widespread use in America, calling it out as a national security threat from China.
TikTok is based in China and is owned by a Chinese company. Klein claimed that the app’s ability to influence the masses through algorithms and propaganda is unprecedented.
“TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company. And Chinese companies are vulnerable to the whims and the will of the Chinese government,” Klein wrote.
“There is no possible ambiguity on this point,” he added.
“The Chinese Communist Party spent much of the last year cracking down on its tech sector. They made a particular example out of Jack Ma, the high-flying founder of Alibaba.”
High-ranking executives are acting in accordance with the CCP, lest their lives be ruined, Klein claimed.
“The message was unmistakable,” he wrote. “Chief executives will act in accordance with party wishes or see their lives upended and their companies dismembered.”
Klein also explained that TikTok, while still a relatively young platform, has grown much faster than others.
“TikTok, as we know it today, is only a few years old,” he wrote.
“But its growth is like nothing we’ve seen before. In 2021, it had more active users than Twitter, more U.S. watch minutes than YouTube, more app downloads than Facebook, more site visits than Google.”
In 2020, former President Donald Trump signed an executive order to begin the process of banning TikTok. The order never went through, but the White House warned that the weaponization of Americans’ data by China was imminent.
“TikTok automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, including Internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search histories,” the executive order stated.
“This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information—potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage.”
The order was replaced when President Biden took office, but only regulates data collection and “does not address the other ways that China could weaponize the platform.”
“TikTok’s real power isn’t over our data. It’s over what users watch and create. It’s over the opaque algorithm that governs what gets seen and what doesn’t,” Klein wrote.