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Emmy Griffin

tiktoktimbmbTikTok has long been a threat to the American people and U.S. intelligence agencies.

The video sharing app is staffed by 300 former Chinese state media workers and has direct ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

It was such an obvious security risk that former President Donald Trump tried to ban it with an executive order, which was then overturned by President Joe Biden — who has known sympathies with China.

TikTok is used by its parent company, the Beijing-based ByteDance, to data-mine and collect biometric and location data. In other words, TikTok/ByteDance/Beijing spy on the United States and its citizens.

Ergo, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Brendan Carr is now calling for its banning. Carr believes that there isn’t “a world in which you could come up with sufficient protection on the data that you could have sufficient confidence that it’s not finding its way back into the hands of the [Chinese Communist Party].”

Carr, a Republican, is not alone in his concerns. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner, a Democrat, also voiced the opinion that President Trump was right in his attempt to excise the app from U.S. digital space.


TikTok is currently in negotiations with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to try to work out a way for the app to become separate from its parent company.

This is what prompted Carr to voice his concerns because even divestment isn’t enough to keep Americans safe from undue Chinese influence and interference.

A spokesperson for TikTok criticized Carr, saying: “Commissioner Carr has no role in the confidential discussions with the U.S. government related to TikTok and appears to be expressing views independent of his role as an FCC commissioner. We are confident that we are on a path to reaching an agreement with the US Government that will satisfy all reasonable national security concerns.”


During the most recent Beijing Olympics, when the U.S. was considering a diplomatic boycott, Anna Massoglia, an investigative researcher, revealed that the CCP “hired a firm to recruit social media influencers in a new digital propaganda campaign targeting the U.S. amid controversy over diplomatic boycotts of the 2022 Beijing Olympics & censorship of Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai’s disappearance.”

In other words, a foreign government, one that is largely regarded as our greatest rival, hired influencers to spread its propaganda.

That manipulation by the CCP was overt, but its influence is generally more subtle than that. Because of the way TikTok is set up here in the U.S., influencers are rewarded for creating the dumbest, shallowest, and most sordid videos. It’s all part of the plan.


cultures-go-extinctThe CCP wants to make American cultural influencers dumb, shallow, and sordid. It wants to corrupt our culture. It can do it, too, because the main users of TikTok are teens and young adults who are easily manipulated.

In China, ByteDance runs a version of TikTok called Douyin. It is night-and-day different from the American version.

The algorithms that promote content and make videos go viral reward users for posting videos that actually benefit society. So videos of engineering, history, culture, and beauty are celebrated and promoted.

Not only that, but China seriously limits the amount of time users can spend on the app. A far cry from our endless scrolling.

The U.S. should follow through with a ban. Anything less is negligence. The ban would affect 94.1 million U.S.-based TikTok users — 94.1 million Americans who are either blithely or brazenly ignoring the risks to their own safety.

If the U.S. does extricate itself from this spyware, it would join countries like India and possibly cleanse the cultural contamination that TikTok has been allowed to spread.



Emmy Griffin

15-seconds-of-fameThe Chinese-owned social media giant TikTok has increasingly become a threat to American society.

Its pernicious influence has explicit consequences for both the adults and children who use it, but TikTok also serves as a borehole for the Chinese to spy on the American public.

While all social media seems to do more harm than good, TikTok, in particular, has several features that make it alarmingly addictive.

It’s a video platform with a doom-scroll feature and endless content.

It is also a popular platform for influencers to sell their products (which makes getting rid of the app difficult for some on an economic front).

Its influence on kids, however, is extremely detrimental and even dangerous. American teens are some of the biggest consumers of the social media app.


Researchers have found two very disturbing facts. First, Ekō, a corporate watchdog group, conducted an experiment wherein a group posed as young teens to see if that qualification would affect the algorithm.

The “kids” were bombarded with destructive content and suicidality within the first 10 minutes of scrolling down the “For You” page.

Second, the version of TikTok that is available to Chinese teens is significantly different and a more educational platform that celebrates achievement in academics.


TikTok has been on Congress’s radar for a while. About this time a year ago, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew made a public plea to Congress to allow the platform to continue operating as usual. Several attempts have been made over the years to shut down the platform or get it out of Chinese hands.

The Trump administration attempted to stop TikTok in the U.S., demanding the same thing that Congress is pushing now: that the app’s U.S.-based operation be sold to an American company or that the app be banned entirely.

“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” former President Donald Trump said then. What did the CCP say at the time? TikTok was a “strategic asset.”


behind-smediaSadly, Trump has since changed his tune in favor of keeping the company to provide a check on Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg.

“If you get rid of TikTok, Facebook and Zuckerschmuck will double their business,” he warned. “I don’t want Facebook, who cheated in the last Election, doing better. They are a true Enemy of the People!”

That much may be a fair point, but he missed the mark with this: “There are a lot of people on TikTok that love it” and “a lot of young kids on TikTok who will go crazy without it.”

No, they’re going crazy with it.

It’s also worth noting that if TikTok is sold to an American company, it’ll still keep the other social media companies in check, which is the preferred alternative for some American lawmakers to solve this CCP spyware issue.

O’Leary Ventures Chairman and “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary offered to do just that on Monday.

“What I’m proposing is purchasing these assets into a new American company,” he said. “I’ll guarantee the servers are on American soil. I’ll guarantee you will close the Chinese back doors in the code. I’ll guarantee it becomes safe for the users, the parents, small businesses, and large businesses. It’ll be an American company.”


Recently, TikTok was up for discussion again in Congress, with leaders on both sides of the aisle trying to decide on the best course of action for a nascent bill they were crafting. They were set to vote on the bill last Thursday.

According to The Wall Street Journal: “As lawmakers prepared to consider the legislation on Thursday, users of the app, which is accessed by more than 170 million Americans, saw notifications urging them to complain to their House representative about the bill. Then the app let people call their representative with a few presses of buttons, fueling congressional concerns about TikTok.”

The congressional members’ phones were bombarded with people of all ages calling to voice their thoughts about a TikTok ban to the point that phone lines were overwhelmed.

Worse, callers made death and suicide threats.

Despite the organized intimidation, the House Energy and Commerce Committee ultimately voted 50-0 to advance the bill that would force TikTok to be sold to an American company or else be banned in the U.S.


Ironically, TikTok overplayed its hand. TikTok proved the point that has been concerning Congress, which is that the app is able to mobilize its users in a way that comes off as sinister.

Though encouraging people to contact their congressional representatives is a right of American citizens (after all, they are supposed to work for us), the fact that a Chinese spyware app was able to influence its users and essentially dupe them into doing its bidding is extremely troubling.

TikTok is facing the first serious attempt to get the app out of the hands of the CCP. Of course, it’s going to fight like crazy for that not to happen. It’s a useful spy tool that has a grip on “influencers,” American teens, and others. The CCP isn’t going to give that up without a fight.


Emmy Griffin is a writer for the Patriot Post.