US lawmakers have voiced concerns over prominent Chinese owned social media app TikTok for potential privacy breaches regarding personal data of American consumers being shared with the communist government of China. In the age of the Chinese Corona Virus pandemic, leaked data is only one of many national security issues raised by foreign born social media apps shared widely among US citizens.
Concerns over the unprecedented reach of the Chinese social media app prompted US lawmakers to summon TikTok chief Alex Zhu to Washington D.C. to discuss the matter.
The headline above was quickly followed by the headline below:
The Pentagon advised all employees to delete the app referencing “potential security risks associated with its use.” The TSA also banned employees from downloading the app.
Security threats implicating foreign born social media giants such as TikTok have alarmed even mainstream media outlets. With countless headlines that have gone widely ignored as young American consumers continue to download the popular social media app and upload & share videos of themselves to the world.
One under-reported consequence of this foreign born tech giant is it’s potential use for disinformation in the age of an international pandemic such as the Wuhan Corona Virus. Many videos depicting America as the culprit of the novel corona virus pandemic have shot to the top of search results.
Videos such as this are seen at the top of search results, seemingly artificially elevated so as to appear in front of every day users.
What in Chinese propaganda is this garbage???? pic.twitter.com/TxARAmqXei
— Ashley StClair 🇺🇸 (@stclairashley) March 27, 2020
The user can no longer be found on the app, but many of the videos posted had been recorded before the user disappear.
— 新闻大吐槽 (@TuCaoFakeNews) March 13, 2020
These are the types of videos being promoted on the platform to an unassuming American consumer base made up almost entirely of teenagers.
Chinese president Xi Jinping has advocated censorship while having been quoted as claiming it to be “internet sovereignty.” With major tech giants like Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent, the reach of the communist regime spans the entirety of the Chinese populace. With apps such as TikTok gaining popularity within the US, the red state expands it’s reach well outside the borders of China, and into the palms of American teenagers. With such control over data and privacy, the ability to spread a narrative favorable to the communist government becomes as easy as turning on a light switch.
Has Chinese tech overstayed it’s welcome here in the US?