TikTok, the ever-popular social media short video platform, is being threatened with a national ban by the Biden administration. The Biden administration is demanding that the app be sold to an American company or face a ban, which is not an original idea since it was Biden’s predecessor who first tried to hold TikTok and ByteDance accountable.
Former President Donald Trump tried to force TikTok to divest from its Chinese parent company, but his efforts were stalled in the courts.
Predictably, the virulently anti-Trump mainstream media did not give enough credit to Trump.
National Public Radio (NPR) only made a brief mention of the former president and wrote, “President Trump attempted to put TikTok out of business, but the actions were halted by federal courts.” CBS News did not mention Trump’s name in its article and neither did CNN.
As Accuracy in Academia previously reported, the app is owned by ByteDance, which has strong ties to the Chinese Communist Party. ByteDance has not documented how or where it stores user information, has not explained how its algorithms work or whether the Chinese Communist Party has direct access to TikTok user’s data. For these reasons, the federal government banned TikTok use for federal employees and several states, such as Texas, blocked access to the popular social media app TikTok on state-run campus wireless or wired internet networks.
The company’s counterproposal to the federal government is a $1.5 billion “Project Texas” to create a firewall between TikTok’s American operations from the parent company in China. It appears that the Biden administration isn’t buying this counterproposal.
TikTok spokesperson Maureen Shanahan told CNN, “If protecting national security is the objective, divestment doesn’t solve the problem.” Shanahan claimed, “A change in ownership would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or access.”
Backing up TikTok’s statement was the Chinese government, when Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, “The US side has so far failed to produce evidence that Tik Tok threatens US national security.”
The mainstream media should do a better job, but we know that they’re more interested in partisan hits against the likes of Trump than accurately reporting the facts.