In China, the Beijing-based company ByteDance runs the Chinese version of TikTok called Douyin. It is night and day different from the American version. The algorithms that promote content and make videos go viral reward users for posting videos that actually benefit society. So videos of engineering, history, culture, and beauty are celebrated and promoted. Not only that, they seriously limit the amount of time users can spend on the app. A far cry from our endless scrolling.
This difference is intentional. TikTok is an app whose goal is to promote societal decay and Chinese propaganda. It is a subtle but effective tool whose disastrous fruits we are already seeing.
TikTok is not the only app that China has employed for sabotage.
For the Olympic Games, China has forced all the athletes, coaches, trainers, and doctors to download the app My 2022. It is ostensibly to keep track of the athletes’ health status, though it also has other troubling features like reporting political dissent to authorities.
The My 2022 app was initially developed by iFlyTek, a company that has colluded with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to kill off the Uyghurs and also to help in the development of surveillance tech. These charges are justified, and the U.S. actually blacklisted this company for those very reasons.
Analysts have been looking at My 2022 and have found several glitches in the program. These glitches were most likely put there intentionally to allow the app to mine data from the phones on which this app is downloaded. It is wholesale cyber espionage that is condoned by the world.
China is power hungry and used to getting its way. It will shamelessly steal data from the Olympic participants and subtly manipulate social media to facilitate the decline of American culture.
Americans had a chance to avoid both. TikTok could have been banned, and the U.S. could have done a full Olympic boycott. But no. Through the apathy of our leaders, China is permitted to prey on our youth and undermine us.