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Blockbuster report reveals China’s covert plans for TikTok

News cycles work in interesting ways, often illuminating where news influencers are less likely to target.

Such was the case this week with new revelations about TikTok’s role in a massive Chinese government disinformation campaign surrounding the Beijing Olympics and the disappearance of the Chinese tennis star. National Peng Shuai.

The Women’s Tennis Association recently hit $1 billion pulling all its league and activities outside of China. This was in response to Peng’s disappearance after she accused a former Chinese government official of sexual abuse. This week, the International Tennis Federation, the governing body that oversees the lower-level professional men’s and women’s tournaments, canceled all 40 events scheduled in China for 2022.

However, the organization that runs the hugely popular and profitable men’s tennis, the Tennis Professionals Association, did nothing.

The International Olympic Committee, concerned only with making sure the Beijing 2022 Olympics go on no matter what, has allowed itself to become a pawn of the Chinese government by participating in a staging TV affair with Peng. Even if the US government cites humanitarian abuse in China as a reason for a diplomatic – but not sporting – activity boycott Beijing Olympics, Olympics moving forward.

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Last week, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted, “How can responsible leaders of the United States look at what happened to international women’s tennis star Peng Shuai and conclude that the Will our troops be safe within the borders of Communist China?”

He then added, “We must definitely boycott the games and send a clear message: The United States does not turn a blind eye to the CCP’s ongoing human rights abuses, including genocide. strains.”

How and why the Beijing Olympics continue to take place is a mystery to many of us, which is why Monday’s blockbuster report because Open Secrets are very important.

Should TikTok be banned in the US?

The report found that the Chinese government hired an American consulting firm to recruit social media influencers on TikTok and other platforms “to increase viewership, public awareness and content.” premium content” for China.

“This is just the latest influence operation from the Chinese government and its state media outlets, to which foreign spies have revealed more than $170 million in propaganda and campaign spending. lobby in the US since 2016,” Open Secrets reported.

Based in Los Angeles TikTok The core of the Chinese government’s disinformation strategy makes perfect sense. Hugely popular in the US, TikTok is poised to make over $2 billion by 2021, up from $63 million in 2017. This exponential growth is justifiable cause for concern for many. who feel that TikTok is just more than Chinese Spyware and should not be used on moral or political grounds.

TikTok’s parent company is ByteDance, a Chinese giant that will generate nearly $50 billion in revenue by 2021. Like CNBC reported in June, ByteDance has access to all of TikTok’s US user data. ByteDance drives both product development and strategic decision-making at TikTok, which has cybersecurity experts worried about the exact issues Open Secrets raised this week.

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A fundamental concern is that the Chinese government is using TikTok to spread the word propagate and potentially affect app users. Remember, once you post something on TikTok, it’s just an illusion to remove it, as TikTok, ByteDance, and the Chinese government can access and potentially take advantage of whatever you post or even even viewed on the platform.

As Joshua Tucker, co-director of the NYU Center for Politics and Social Media, note in March, “Social media itself is neither good nor bad for democracy, but it can depend on who is using it and what the purpose is.”

Tools like TikTok, which users describe simply as neutral platforms, are especially dangerous today.

“Ironically, the same affordability that has made social media so useful to pro-democracy activists also makes it such a valuable tool for those in need,” says Tucker. foster anti-democratic sentiments in democratic societies.

This is why the question “where do we go from here” is not an easy one to answer. There are 52 days to go until the Beijing Olympics, and the US and some of its allies just declare a meaningless and ineffective diplomatic boycott.

How many undetected campaigns have been launched through TikTok and other social media to influence the way we think about the critically important issues surrounding China in 2022 and beyond what else? This question will make us very uncomfortable and leave us guessing about the social media platforms on which we spend time and share content.

It is something too few of us are willing to do, like thinking about the genocide in Xinjiang, the disappearance of a Chinese athlete at the top of the Communist Party apparatus, or even the The safety of our Olympic athletes seems to be less important than our next TikTok post.

The views expressed in this article are those of their authors and are not necessarily shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission process and guidelines. here.

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https://www.westernjournal.com/solomon-blockbuster-report-reveals-chinas-insidious-plans-tiktok/ Blockbuster report reveals China’s covert plans for TikTok

JOE HERNANDEZ

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