Is TikTok going to be banned in America? Prrrrrroooobbbbaabbbllyyyy not. If it was up to America’s Federal Communications Commission, maybe so. Luckily for most, it ain’t up to them.
Specifically FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr has a bone to pick with the ultra-popular app. Carr sent a letter to Apple and Google’s CEOs asking that they remove TikTok from the App and Play Stores, respectively, citing fears about Chinese surveillance.
“TikTok doesn’t just see its users[sic] dance videos,” Carr tweeted on June 28. “It collects search and browsing histories, keystroke patterns, biometric identifiers, draft messages, and metadata, plus it has collected the text, images, and videos that are stored on a device’s clipboard.”
It sounds a lot to me like the anti-Chinese fervor stoked by former President Trump in Summer 2022, who requested that the US government ban TikTok because it represented “a national security threat.”
ByteDance, the Beijing-based tech company that operates both TikTok and Chinese counterpart Douyin, had been in talks with Microsoft to “legitimize” its service to the White House but ended up working with Oracle instead.
The irony here is that both Carr and Trump are mostly at peace with American companies like Facebook and Trump’s beloved Twitter selling user’s data.
Certainly, neither has seen fit to ban those apps or even really comment much about their requisite scandals.
Americans already live in a surveillance state. Our data — heck, our existences — are tracked, packaged, and sold to the highest bidder and have been since even before President Bush put his name on the Patriot Act.
Sweeping systemic change needs to be implemented across the board to curtail the buying and selling of our habits but that ain’t gonna happen.
Look at Facebook: it paid a measly fine and Cambridge Analytica, the other company at fault, changed its name and kept going.
Banning TikTok — which the FCC doesn’t even have the jurisdiction to do, by the way — isn’t gonna change anything. Honestly, it probably ain’t gonna happen.
And, look, I ain’t no tech expert, not at all, so that’s just my two cents. But there’s one reliable rule in American legislation: if something makes money, it’ll never go away.