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COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
By
Robert Namer
Voice Of America
©2023 All rights reserved
January 23, 2023

     TikTok said it is making changes to its policies involving state-run accounts, amid allegations that China used the video-based social media platform to influence American politics ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.  TikTok should be banned from the US - they cannot be trusted.

     Accounts linked to the Chinese government published TikTok videos with political commentary, including one account that favored Democrats and criticized Republicans such as Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida, according to Forbes.  TikTok said it is developing a global state-controlled media policy and new product features when asked about the alleged Chinese effort to sway Americans. 

       “We plan to introduce our state-controlled media policy and corresponding labels globally next year as part of our continued focus on media literacy,” said Jamie Favazza, TikTok spokesperson, in an email. “As we previously confirmed, the global rollout will include China state media.”  Critics view TikTok’s commitments as unreliable and say the platform’s China-founded parent company, ByteDance, has sought to leverage the social media app to manipulate Americans and their kids.  

      Center for Humane Technology co-founder Tristan Harris has argued that ByteDance offers a healthier version of the TikTok platform called Douyin within China while offering an unsafe version to hook American kids.  Mr. Harris, a former Google employee who advocates for tech regulation, told CBS that Douyin represents a “spinach version of TikTok” while Americans get served the “opium version.” 

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