CoffeeAddict avatar

It wasn’t even close. The bill, which would basically force the sale of TikTok, was passed 352 to 65 with 1 congressperson voting present.

It will probably pass the Senate. Biden has indicated that he will sign it if it passes, but even if he didn’t want to the vote was so decisive that he would be hard pressed to not sign it.

Thoughts on this? I have never used the app, but it looks like the app could be a real security problem (having an authoritarian regime with no respect for freedom of the press owning the largest social media and news distribution platform in the US is not a good idea, in my opinion.)

But, the bill doesn’t really solve the real problem which is data protection and privacy - Facebook, Google, etc are still collecting data at an alarming rate, even if they aren’t as efficient at it as TikTok.


But, the bill doesn’t really solve the real problem which is data protection and privacy - Facebook, Google, etc are still collecting data at an alarming rate, even if they aren’t as efficient at it as TikTok.

this is why I believe the ban is ridiculous. another country has caught up on how to mine data from users at a highly efficient rate, and now the US wants to clamp down on it in the name of “national security.” this is extremely hypocritical and should be vetoed unless the ban applies to other popular apps.

CoffeeAddict avatar

I think I agree.

TikTok is just the best at the data-mining game, and the real reason it’s being banned is it’s connection to the CCP.

Facebook, Google, and all the rest have spent billions lobbying congress and also spent billions trying to replicate TikTok’s algorithm because they want to do the same thing… the real problem is data privacy, and that is the problem congress is not addressing.


My thought, you hit the nail on the head with the last comment. Lets crack down on companies that are collecting data and how they use it. Start with full transparency to the end user. But I guess to make any of this work you need to get the public to actually give a shit. Forcing these companies to disclose what they do with our data to a bunch of people who won’t even bother to look doesn’t do much I guess. It’s crazy to me how fast these companies literally brainwashed the public into just giving up all privacy for tiny morsels of convenience.

CoffeeAddict avatar

I agree. This is the real problem.

PP_BOY_, avatar

This is a great thing as far as I’m concerned. Even ignoring the larger issues of national security, etc., it’s been a nuisance in my life and I’ll be glad to see it go.

CoffeeAddict avatar

I do think it’s connection to the CCP is the real reason it’s been targeted. Facebook & Google do the same stuff, just not as efficiently (though they’d love to).

All that being said, anyone familiar with China’s government knows they don’t give a rats ass about human rights, let alone privacy. TikTok’s CEO says they don’t share the data with the CCP, but I can only speculate as to whether that is true.

sonori, avatar

It’s a step in the right direction given that it’s the most egregious widespread example, but I suspect that the vote might have been closer if TikTok extended the same rules and protections it has for children in China to the US. As it is, it is very hard to argue the platform is acting in good faith when the app’s behavior changes so much in the places it cares about vs the ones it doesn’t.

For all the people crying censorship, I will note that there are no shortage of competitors with similar platforms and even looser moderation. Many of them with less of a foucus on lowest common denominator content slurry. Who knows, maybe the youths of today will even start using forums again like us ancients of the internet.

CoffeeAddict avatar

This is a good point - TikTok in China is almost a completely different app. It almost could be considered educational.

I am indifferent towards TikTok, but that is mostly because I don’t use it. I can see why there might be some national security concerns due to the amount of data it collects and due to the CCP having some strings in Bytedance. I think it would be better if this was more a set of regulations for all social media companies, not just a ban.

I do agree the vote probably would have been closer if it were a set of data regulations and privacy laws; Facebook and Google would lobby the shit out of that.

LA9306, avatar

@CoffeeAddict I wish this was instituted as a set of regulations for social media in general. Things like personal data protections, and minor protections. Instead we got the laziest, least free market approach to it. It gives us a sense of accomplishment while still letting American social media run free and unrestrained with little accountability.

CoffeeAddict avatar

@LA9306 Completely agree with the fact that this is the least free market approach. TikTok was just an easy target, and we need much better data protection and privacy laws. We didn’t get that with this.

theinspectorst, (edited )
theinspectorst avatar

I find it all quite protectionist. The privacy risk around social media is real, but I don't see why TikTok should be singled out. And there's a perfectly legitimate concern about the ability for hostile states to use social media to influence elections in democratic states - as Russia did in the UK and US in 2016 with Facebook and Twitter - but again, it's not obvious why TikTok should be singled out for this. If the Chinese want to swing an election, they're not going to do it by influencing Boomers on Facebook, not through a platform that is overwhelmingly used by the age demographic that is least likely to vote...

CoffeeAddict avatar

It is absolutely protectionist.

I am not sure if the national security claims are valid or not; I could see that going either way. Just having all that information could pose a problem, but the CCP is sophisticated enough to get that info through other means, too.

All that being said, Facebook and Google are absolutely happy about this. They have spent billions trying to replicate TikTok’s algorithm, and are failing. They are also lobbying congress to do nothing about data protection and privacy. It’s hypocritical for the US to only target TikTok.

But, it is also true that young people don’t vote, so TikTok is probably not the best audience for election disinformation.

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