The fact is the TikTok short-from video web site and app are Chinese owned meaning all users, advertisers and governments alike have zero idea what that means regarding personal and institutional data because of the recent and now in effect, regulations of social media algorithms by the Communist Party. Facebook and Google are quickly going down this same regulatory path here in the States if certain politicians get their digital way and because both companies and their owners have continued to worry more about user growth and shareholder value rather than internally regulate misinformation and hate content, stop fake users, and eliminate spam bots. Chinese technology company ByteDance and owner Zhang Yiming are happy counting the dollars pile up with each video view because TikTok has just past YouTube for average watch time per month on Android indicating America and the world needs a digital wakeup call so here it is. The Sports Techie community blog is here to let you know why things have changed this week regarding Tik Tok so you can make an informed decision to boycott their app and web site in support of Taiwan until China’s President Xi Jinping agrees to continue to allow Taiwanese self-governance as is currently the case.
I propose TikTok’s 700 million registered users either suspend use or better yet, delete the app, until the world’s most populous and communist nation declares Chinese-claimed Taiwan and their citizens will not be invaded by the Chinese military even though the democratic island is supported by the United States and an international coalition of mostly democratic nations.
Because of COVID-19, Taiwan is set to live stream the 2021 Taiwan Rainbow Civil Action Association (TWRCAAT), one of Asia’s largest LGBT Pride parades, it will be streamed online for the first time after over 200,000 diverse people attended in 2019 and another 130,000 last year despite the pandemic. This is sure to piss off the powers that be in mainland China.
It is just a matter of ticking time, in my Whittier College Political Science educated opinion, that China says f-off to the world and steps in to squash the Taiwanese way of live and take full control of the island. According to a 2021 Chinese defense ministry statement, “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China,” meaning the clock is ticking, tick tock, before we all know what is coming, the end of Taiwan as we know it. I propose Tik Tok users be proactive now rather than reactive later when it will be too late to digitally support the self-governing of Taiwan where it hurts them most, the bottom line. Stop Tik Tok’s digital intrusion.
Therefore, professional athletic organizations the likes of FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Golden State Warriors and Kansas City Chiefs, please join together with super users Charli d’amelio, Khabane lame and Addison Rae, as well as celebrities Will Smith, The Rock, Kylie Jenner, Selena Gomez, and Alyssa Milano, to suspend your operations on TikTok or delete the app until assurances are in place for the sovereignty of Taiwan and the safety of their citizens. None of you needs the money, extra followers or addictive nature of social media, so stop. Chinese oppression was on the other foot back in 1931 when freedom fighters fought the Japanese imperial army after they invaded Manchuria. Hypocrisy is the name of this game.
Chinese Crackdowns on Freedom and Big Tech
Just last week, in a show of international intimidation, 19 fighter jets flew directly over Taiwan’s defense identification zone (ADIZ) including nuclear-capable bombers, a capability the entire globe needs to be concerned about going forward. Taiwan is where America is drawing the new freedom line after leaving our 20-year in Afghanistan war that made many in the military industrial complex rich men. The USA is Taiwan’s main supplier of military goods making the freedom puzzle most complicated, depending on who you listen to. U.S. Navy warships are close by watching the 100-mile-wide Taiwan Strait in a show of commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. What are you doing with your smartphone to help the cause, watching more TikTok?
Next time you use TikTok, remember that 23.6 million Taiwanese get ever so much closer to ending their run of freedom that began in 1949 after the Communist party won control of the mainland. That run is ending, make no doubt, it’s a matter of when, not if. To highlight this, a former Chinese member of K-pop boy band EXO, declared he is cutting ties with Swiss luxury watch brand Audemars Piguet after their CEO mentioned Taiwan as a country in a separate interview.
Like with any business, group or nation, just a handful of people, or one like Xi, run the entire show. China is no different and remember, they censor all Western media news on top of the anarchy.
Nationalism has been a bane to a peaceful global society for generations in that America-first, Japanese Imperialism, North Korean Nationalism, and male, radical Taliban religious fundamentalist now running Afghanistan, simply don’t care about the common good. They are in for themselves just like TikTok users that care more about using the social platform for their own benefit even when using it to share messages of hope, community and inspiration, rather than truly seeing the big picture and doing what is right by stopping the use of the Chinese regulated social company. Their recent Big Tech crackdown in a big way was aimed to enforce the Chinese Communist’s Party authority over Big Tech’s billionaires that own Tencent, Alibaba, TikTok, and more, along with unfiltered digital usage by their citizens. Regulation is here for Big Tech in China; can Taiwan be that far behind as they continue to promote freedom?
Children and teens are now allowed to play just three hours of video games a week across China on Friday and weekends only. The leaders believe it is a waste of time. Tell that to an American kid and see what he does. Probably not even blink an eye because our next generations are more interested in gaming and short-form videos than either democracy, communism or exercise, and that can’t be good.
The celebrity culture is also frowned upon in China and a ban of celebrity and gaming fan culture is now in effect. Hear that Tom Brady, J-Lo, Snoop Dogg, Piranha, and Donald Trump? This notion has been identified as a source of spreading income inequality unfairness with the masses and you will have no argument here about that. Compare how the 1% are treated in America to the growing lower class and shrinking middle class by just looking at the lack of fair taxes the the richest pay all in the name of trickledown economics, a dead and archaic Reagan-era economic busted model.
Xi believes the real threat to both minors and adults is online bullying led by coordinated spamming by fake accounts, burners accounts and millions of bots. I have long watched this in action in the name of growth and keeping shareholders satisfied, first on Twitter but especially on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. Russian interference in our 2016 Presidential election is well documented, the Big Lie can’t railroad those that really understand what happened. Algorithms are what allowed this to happen here in the US and now in China, the UK or anywhere in the world where people are connected to the Internet. Misinformation and hate is spreading on the web like wildflowers did before climate change.
Why did President Biden allow TikTok to flourish after former President Trump banned the app? Because I believe what Chinese officials are afraid of, social platforms are causing their kids to distance themselves from the way past its time, communist party ideologies, something the people of Taiwan already know is the case. It’s a slippery slope America is on regarding allowing TikTok and the rest of the unregulated Chinese apps to be legal here but now that the Big Tech crackdown happened oversees this this week, the unfriendly end is certainly near. How can it not be for the social Chinese apps with new government mandated regulations by the few in power we cannot truly trust to have America’s or the world’s best interest at heart?
Yet, America looks the other way regarding the soaring use of TikTok while facing an onslaught of misinformation regarding the pandemic vaccinations and mask mandates, climate change deniers posts, anti-abortion rights activities, and strict voter suppression laws in place or soon to be. TikTok use worldwide needs an immediate correction now that the Chinese government are behind the algorithm scenes. Perhaps as an offshoot, our own youth will get more involved with the actual notion of what living in a democracy means rather than caring more about the latest TikTok video clips. Extreme right-wing GOP support of the January 6 insurrection not done by a bunch of tourists supporting Trump’s authoritarian regime, instead planned and executed by Q domestic terrorists within our borders, is our nation’s own internal battle for democracy and the rule of law while not allowing unchecked authoritarianism. Sounds like a Chinese problem, eh, but its not.
Are you starting to see my points about TikTok and Taiwan?
Remember IP Man
I was binge watching the martial arts IP Man movie series 1-4 on Netflix this past week and it reminded me of the value of teaching history to our children in the United States so as to not repeat the past. The decades-long “Critical Race Theory” (CRT) named so in its current form is white supremist rhetoric of years past with a name change. Americans, Chinese, Japanese, Germans, and so many more nation’s must teach the good and bad of the past so children can become independent thinkers and make educated decisions on their own as to that is right and wrong. I can’t help but think about all those innocent children across America that have parents that don’t let then use a mask at school when the kids could care less, especially when the science shows it helps prevent the spread of COVID. It truly is a no-brainer, an important part of the body and head in serious neglect by these ignorant adults.
IP Man starring Donnie Yen is a 2008 biographical film based on the life of Bruce Lee’s Wing Chun martial arts grandmaster trainer. The first move is set in the Chinese city of Foshan in 1935 during the Sino-Japanese war after Japan’s imperial army invaded in 1931 then began committing war crimes resulting in anywhere from 3 million to 10 million deaths, many of them by violent and extremely cruel means. The US supplied Japan with oil until the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec, 7, 1942 so we played our share in this atrocity. The recent Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics educated me to the facts that Japan does not teach their young students much if anything at all about their historical role in the genocide. Sounds familiar to those opposed to teaching CRT here in terms of slavery.
First to Chinese leadership, all five, three or one of you, Xi. Are you actually any different than the Japanese leaders during World War II in terms of seeking radicalized nationalism? The crack down on Big Tech proves your intentions to control people’s mindshare and Taiwan is the local enemy to communism you don’t want your people truly knowing about, thus the constant censorship. Your people have no idea a LGBT parade is soon to be streamed online unless they go around your firewalls to watch freedom in action but in doing so, face jail time or worse. What you are planning to do in Taiwan in my opinion, is predictable and will be as cruel to their people as the Japanese were to the Chinese during the Sino-Japanese war in many respects. Taking freedom, property and money away in the name of the Communist Party is what it is, transparent oppression and elitist spin.
Sports Techie, all this leads up to the following summary.
Hey America and our legion of global TikTok suckers. I have warned you that the Chinese government is regulating Big Tech algorithms. What does that mean to you? I never started a TikTok account because I knew the day of Chinese regulation was coming fast and now it is here so I am clean. What it means to all of you is you’re giving personal information, surfing habits and more to the Chinese government, freely. What is to keep China from selling all the personal info away to the black market? Nothing.
What is preventing Taiwan from being invaded and crushed down like a white zin grape for a bottle of overpriced wine that costs $200? Maybe the US military but probably not.
You can do your part by suspending operation of TikTok accounts in a show of good faith and solidarity with the Taiwanese, until China pledges to never invade which ain’t going to happen. But, because you live in America, the choice is yours, for now.
Like Spike Lee coined, “Do The Right Thing.”
End using TikTok yesterday and start to feel better about the future today.
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