Look, we’re not really sure how we feel about President Trump’s threat to sign an executive order banning the TikTok app in the United States. We don’t use TikTok, aren’t impressed with what we’ve seen from TikTok, and acknowledge that it’s pretty much Chinese malware. Still, people are up in arms over the threat, Microsoft seems to be backing out of a deal to buy its parent company, and things are still up in the air.
TikTok, however, says it’s “here for the long run.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 1, 2020
Fox News reports:
TikTok on Saturday said it’s “here for the long run” and “not planning on going anywhere” after President Trump said he intends to ban the popular video app over widespread concerns about data security.
“We’re not planning on going anywhere,” U.S. General Manager Vanessa Pappas said in a video, thanking supporters for their backing.
The social media app, which allows users to share short videos, has become extremely popular, particularly during recent coronavirus lockdowns. But there have been long-standing concerns about the app because of its Chinese parent company ByteDance, and that it could lead to user data being accessed by the Chinese government. It’s a claim TikTok has denied.
One Reddit user reverse-engineered the app and said what he found is scary.
A guy on Reddit did journalism while paid journalists DM with teh teens. https://t.co/oY95HpRin5
— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) August 1, 2020
Reddit user bangorlol writes:
TikTok is a data collection service that is thinly-veiled as a social network. If there is an API to get information on you, your contacts, or your device… well, they’re using it.
Here’s the thing though.. they don’t want you to know how much information they’re collecting on you, and the security implications of all of that data in one place, en masse, are fucking huge. They encrypt all of the analytics requests with an algorithm that changes with every update (at the very least the keys change) just so you can’t see what they’re doing. They also made it so you cannot use the app at all if you block communication to their analytics host off at the DNS-level.
For what it’s worth I’ve reversed the Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter apps. They don’t collect anywhere near the same amount of data that TikTok does, and they sure as hell aren’t outright trying to hide exactly what’s being sent like TikTok is. It’s like comparing a cup of water to the ocean – they just don’t compare.
For what it’s worth, maybe we’re paranoid, but we don’t trust Zoom either, and everyone’s using it now.
“I can’t believe Trump is banning an app that steals our data and is run by the same communist govt that unleashed a plague on the world” cried the people who cheered states banning church services, gatherings, businesses from reopening, and mandated face coverings.
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) August 1, 2020
TikTok grants the Chinese Communist Party and intelligence apparatuses access to millions of Americans’ IP addresses, geodata, unique device identifiers, browsing histories, and Cookies.
This one isn’t about politics. It’s a threat. Plain and simple.
— John Noonan (@noonanjo) August 1, 2020
So we are just banning entire companies with executive orders now?
— Antonia Okafor Cover (@antonia_okafor) August 1, 2020
Yes, Trump should ban Chinese companies for spying on the United States. It’s been done before. This isn’t difficult. https://t.co/3oV2TNYto3
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 1, 2020
President Trump will ban tiktok! The hero we didn’t know we needed.
— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) August 1, 2020
If you’re on the fence about TikTok, know that the ACLU thinks banning it is “a danger to free expression.”
Banning an app like TikTok, which millions of Americans use to communicate with each other, is a danger to free expression and technologically impractical. https://t.co/ZbN7f2TOwF
— ACLU (@ACLU) August 1, 2020
🗣 To truly address privacy concerns with companies like TikTok, Congress must ensure that ANY company that services US consumers cannot hand over our data to any government without a warrant or equivalent.
Letting the president selectively ban platforms isn’t the solution.
— ACLU (@ACLU) August 1, 2020
Take the “CL” out of your name already.
— I didn’t vote for him, so think of a new retort (@jtLOL) August 1, 2020
They need to get some lawyers on staff @ACLU
— Tivis Sutherland (@tivissutherland) August 1, 2020
And, for what it’s worth, Harvard student David Hogg’s March for Our Lives can’t believe the president can ban an app but not guns:
Yeah let’s ban TikTok but AR-15s can stay…
— March For Our Lives (@AMarch4OurLives) August 1, 2020
— Sandy 〽️ (@RightGlockMom) August 1, 2020
— Will Chamberlain (@willchamberlain) August 1, 2020
Now you’re getting it.
— Vicious Heathen (@DezImpeach) August 1, 2020
— Samantha Chill Dawg (@Samantha_J9) August 1, 2020
You finally got something right!
— Ben Jammin 🇺🇸 (@xBenJamminx) August 1, 2020
Is this supposed to be something we shouldn’t agree with?
— Dave (@SixteenFortySix) August 1, 2020
— BUCKEYEinstein (@BUCKEYEinstein) August 1, 2020
— Tested Negative for Coronavirus 2x J.G. Petruna (@jgpetruna) August 1, 2020
You should work on your negotiating skills but yeah, deal.
— Limmy (@chicaneahead) August 1, 2020
Finally you say something good
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) August 1, 2020
I hope Xi sees this, your social credit score will go through the roof
— solgnir zero: ultra (@solgnir) August 1, 2020
Last time I checked, guns don’t spy on people. They’re useful tools for self-defence against rioters.
— Scrimzox (@SubToScrimzox) August 1, 2020
That gun can save my life.
All tiktok has done is show us nurses have nothing to do while a viral outbreak sweeps the country.
— Mishi💫 (@MishiOswin) August 1, 2020
I totally remember that part in the constitution where Jefferson talked about your right to tiktok
— StanningForWoods (@woods_account) August 1, 2020
Imagine caring more about a childish app than our constitutional rights 🤔
— McKayla J (@McKaylaRoseJ) August 1, 2020
When AR-15s start spying on Americans for the Chinese Government, then your complaint might make sense.
— Kodai Okuda (@KodaiOkuda) August 1, 2020
Show me TikTok in the Constitution. The Chinese have been using TikTok as a spy operation against Americans. Sorry that is going to affect the videos of teens dancing to the same tune a million times for you. https://t.co/mqrsKQvuHN
— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) August 1, 2020
A lot of people seem to think that banning TikTok is a way to suppress young people from supporting Joe Biden in the upcoming election, so we can see how banning it would tick off the Chinese even more.
Tick Tock, China: Mike Pompeo announces U.S. is ‘looking at’ banning TikTok https://t.co/v7Pi9cKLcy
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) July 7, 2020