TikTok is facing a ban from the United States unless it is sold from the Chinese-overseen company ByteDance to an American company, but some local Big Tech companies could prove just as tyrannical.
Out of the frying pan and into the fire! Twitter has had “preliminary talks about a potential combination with TikTok, the popular video-sharing app that the Trump administration has declared a national-security threat due to its Chinese ownership,” The Wall Street Journal reported August 8. It remains to be seen whether censorship and anti-Trump bias would be less severe if it were done by American Big Tech liberals instead of the Chinese Communist Party.
Other Big Tech companies have also been in the running:
“Microsoft Corp. MSFT -2.55% has been negotiating for weeks with TikTok’s owner, Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., and is considered the front-runner for any possible deal, according to the people. Twitter is seen as a long-shot bidder, given that it is much smaller than Microsoft and would have a harder time paying for the deal—and the software giant is further advanced in negotiations.”
Trump issued two different executive orders on August 6: The “Executive Order on Addressing the Threat Posed by TikTok” placed a ban on TikTok from being used in the U.S., and the “Executive Order on Addressing the Threat Posed by WeChat” placed a ban on WeChat.
The executive order banning TikTok, which will take effect 45 days after the date of the order, stated: “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.”
China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Wang Wenbin declared, “The U.S. is using national security as an excuse and using state power to oppress non-American businesses. That’s just a hegemonic practice. China is firmly opposed to that," according to Fox Business.
TikTok’s legal response to the ban appears to have been hot on the heels of the executive order itself. “TikTok is planning to sue the Trump administration, challenging the president's executive order banning the service from the United States,” NPR reported August 8. The lawsuit argues that the executive order is “unconstitutional” because “it failed to give the company a chance to respond. It also alleges that the administration's national security justification for the order is baseless, according to the source,” NPR reported.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representative and demand that TikTok provide transparency: Companies need to design open systems so that they can be held accountable, while giving weight to privacy concerns. If you have been censored, contact us at the Media Research Center contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.