Why TikTok Shouldn’t Be a Social Media Scapegoat

(PatriotWise.com) —  House Resolution 7521, officially known as the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, has been the subject of a deluge of reactions since its introduction early last month by Representative Mike Gallagher (WI-8). North Carolina’s congressional delegation, except Dan Bishop, NC-8, voted in favor of the bill. President Joe Biden indicated his intention to sign the bill into law. Mega-donors threatened to withhold funding from any candidate who voted in favor of the bill.

The bill is essentially a referendum on TikTok, the Chinese-owned bogeyman app.

Meanwhile, in the fog of this war, many have argued in defense of TikTok, saying it contributes culturally. Many young and Black producers have found success on TikTok, which continues to attract creative and skilled people.

Keith Lee, Reesa Teesa, Lil Nas X, and Khaby Lame are just some of the artists who have benefited from the platform’s exposure and success.

Many Black “macro influencers” on TikTok make six figures or more per year, despite a 35% salary disparity between Black and white social media influencers in the sector.

Proponents feel the application is a center for progressive political organization action, and its cultural impact would be destroyed if TikTok were banned in the US. Several TikTok producers vowed not to collaborate with Amazon due to the company’s treatment of its employees, while Starbucks employees used TikTok videos that went viral to rally support for unionization efforts. TikTok has also played a significant role in uniting young Americans who are worried about Israel’s invasion of Gaza behind the Palestinian cause.

A ban on TikTok could eliminate a vital tool for reaching out to young voters, who are already disappointed with the president’s approach to climate change and the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Some hypocrisy lies in the fact that politicians in the US authorize government intelligence and law enforcement organizations to conduct social media monitoring, demonstrating a complete lack of concern for privacy protections. The FBI abused its authority 278,000 times in 2020 and early 2021 to access a database of overseas users’ emails, phone calls, and texts under Section 702 of the Overseas Intelligence Surveillance Act.

According to American intelligence experts, concerns that TikTok may provide Chinese authorities access to user data are unfounded. The majority of ByteDance’s investors are American, accounting for 60% of the company’s ownership. According to a Pew study released in October 2023, the majority of Americans (72%) think that businesses should be subject to more government oversight on the use of consumers’ personal data.

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