TicTok Time Running Out

Respond to this Friday Faithfuls challenge by writing anything about TikTok, the Chinese short-form video hosting service owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, which allows users to submit short videos, which can range in duration from 3 seconds to 10 minutes, or go with anything else that you think fits.  Last Thursday on March 23, members of Congress grilled TikTok CEO Shou Chew during a hearing and many called for TikTok to be banned in the U.S. because this social media site is seen as being a potential national security threat.  This ban could weaken the relations between the U.S. and China and could also upset some very loyal users of the app that spend hours each day making and consuming short-form video content.  TikTok collects every user’s email address, phone number and date of birth along with a lot of data about user activity, which they share with third parties, like their business partners, service providers, and advertisers, among others.  Parents are worried about keeping their kids safe on TikTok and the best way to do this is to reduce their contact with strangers and limit harmful content about topics like eating disorders, weight-shaming, self-harm, sexual assault, and videos the encourage destruction of property.

TikTok has grown exponentially in terms of popularity and user count, being used by 30.25% of the world’s 5.07 billion internet users.  It ranks 6th with 1,000 million users behind Facebook    which has 2,910 million, Youtube with 2,562 million, Whatsapp with 2,000 million, Instagram with 1,478 million, and WeChat with 1,263 million in 2023.  Tik Tok was the most downloaded application of 2022 with 672 million global downloads.  TikTok is burrowing into the devices and the brains of teens and tweens around the world, but it is thought is that if TikTok were to vanish tomorrow, its users would simply flock to any number of other apps that have no qualms about surveilling the most private moments of their lives and amassing, manipulating, and selling off sensitive information about them.

The app’s Beijing-based parent company ByteDance is aggressively exporting the social media equivalent of heroin to our children, while it’s serving up a far less-damaging product in China that’s designed to protect their own youth.  Their domestic version is called Douyin and it is only available to Chinese consumers.  The apps are nearly identical, but with thee critical difference that users under 14 are required to use Douyin in healthy moderation on “teenage mode.”  Young, impressionable users are limited to 40 minutes a day between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. to ensure they get adequate sleep and this is thought to prevent endless zombie-like scrolling because all users will be interrupted by a mandatory 5-second delay.  They’re also only shown specially-selected “inspiring” content, because of a vastly different in China, as it promotes science, educational and historical content, while making our citizens watch stupid dance videos with the main goal of making us into stupid imbeciles.  While American youth are performing hyper-sexualized dances and engaging in absurd viral trends, their Chinese counterparts are treated to a curated stream of videos promoting patriotism, social cohesion and personal aspirations.


  1. I hope it gets banned. I went on there to look for cute cat videos and every other video was an underage girl trying to look sexy. It’s really terrible. And supposedly it promotes violence and other bad stuff directly to kids as well. Not to mention the data stealing!

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  2. Reblogged this on A Unique Title For Me and commented:

    Lawmakers seem skeptical that the TicTok app could be made safe for domestic users and an outright sale or ban is looking increasingly likely in the next 12-18 months. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews transactions that could affect national security, has been pressuring ByteDance to spin off its U.S. subsidiary or sell it to an American company, but they remain opposed to any forced sale. The RESTRICT Act, a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate this month, allows the U.S. Commerce Secretary to ban foreign technology companies, as well as encourages the intelligence service to declassify information on potential risks, but a move to outright ban a software program would be unprecedented. There was a House hearing yesterday which was part of widespread House Republican investigations of the Democratic Biden administration. Republicans called the hearing about alleged Biden administration suppression of social media posts. Democrats responded by saying that only the government can censor and Facebook and Twitter make their own decisions on what they will publish. Republicans claimed censorship of social media posts, even though the government doesn’t control the companies. It turned into a shouting match and some reporters compared the goings on to a Monty Python skit. The hearing was about a lawsuit Missouri and Louisiana filed accusing the White House and FBI of pressuring Facebook and Twitter to suppress posts about the origins of COVID-19 and the efficacy of lockdowns and wearing masks. I guess with all the Trump indictments going on, the Republicans are trying their best to make something stick to Biden, but that is what you get when you back a candidate who is most likely a criminal.


  3. I don’t have TikTok app or watch other videos as a matter of routine. Someone once posted something on WhatsApp and it was hilarious. But who has the time to watch videos or YouTube when you can blog!

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