Monday, August 3, 2020
MEDIA MONDAY / WHY IS AMERICA AFRAID OF TIKTOK?
GUEST EXCERPT / By Michael Schuman, contributor, The Atlantic Magazine—“...And so, egged on by a growing consensus against Beijing in Washington, as well as by hawks in the Republican Party, the Treasury Department is poised this week to recommend action to be taken against the app, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said.
“...Americans on TikTok “need to worry about it, because it is a surveillance apparatus for Beijing,” Senator Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, told me. “It is a Trojan horse on people’s phones.”
“...At first glance, such alarm might sound like paranoia. How can videos of kids dancing to hip-hop music possibly be a dire threat to anything? But in Washington, the perceived national-security risks of TikTok are very real, and in recent weeks, attitudes toward the company have hardened. TikTok has become a symbol of the new challenge a rising, tech-enabled China presents not simply to a free society, but to American dominance in the technology sector. The internet today is largely run—for better or worse—by American corporations such as Alphabet, Amazon, and Facebook, and TikTok is the first Chinese company to truly break through to the American, and global, consciousness, something its compatriots, including Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent, have yet to do...”
For the complete The Atlantic article click here.