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  • Robert Farago

Ban TikTok!

The case for banning TikTok is compelling. The app gives The People’s Republic of China more or less unfettered access to some 120 million Americans, most of them impressionable youth.

Clear and Present Danger

As far as I remember, a fascist dictator runs the PRC, ruthlessly suppressing 1.4b Chinese. A man hell bent on replacing American influence abroad and making Taiwan its bitch.

Xi Jinping’s dictatorship does nothing to stop Chinese companies stealing our intellectual capital. The Supreme Leader also turns a blind eye to drug smugglers enabling the overdose deaths of hundreds of Americans, every day.

TikTok is a latter day trojan horse, letting the PRC barbarians inside our gates. Make that inside the deeply impressionable minds of our woefully uneducated citizens.

In short, TikTok is a clear and present danger to Americans and American interests.

The U.S. Supreme Court has clearly and unequivocally ruled: the government can censor speech that presents a “clear and present danger” to society. By that calculus alone, Uncle Sam would be within its rights to ban the shit out of TikTok.

Bin Laden’s Letter to America

The excrement hit the rotating air circulation device last week when TikTok users posted Saudi mass murderer Osama bin Laden‘s maniacal manifesto (click here for the greatest hits). Some TikTokers lauded Laden’s antisemitic, anti-Israel, anti-U.S. rhetoric.

In the firestorm’s face, TikTok execs launched a major charm offensive/damage control operation, defending the app’s continued existence in The Land of the Free.

They assured politicians and a mighty minion of Jewish celebrities that TikTok’s waging an electronic jihad against posts promoting the Letter and/or spewing antisemitic hate.

Republicans to TikTok: FOAD

Republicans issued a clarion call to black hole TikTok – what Wisconsin Congressman Mike Gallagher labelled “digital fentanyl” – way back in November 2022. The Bin Laden Letter contretemps has added fuel to the potential pyre.

All the G.O.P.’s presidential candidates who aren’t named Vivek (who recently joined the app) are united in their desire to tell TikTok to FOAD.

Democrats are relatively quiet on the subject, unwilling to lose the millions of TikTok-addicted users who vote, or will someday vote, for the Democratic Party.

A TikTok ban would require bi-partisan support and the President’s approval. Absent egregious evidence that the PRC is working against the agenda of the Party currently in power, the app is safe.

Assured in no small part by the Dem’s official TikTok account and TikTok’s $7m lobbying spend.


Also true: TikTok gives voice to pro-Israel and conservative posters. And the app’s big whigs have promised to create a Chinese wall between TikTok’s communist masters and their American-based mandarins.

Be that as it won’t be, I’d be down with a ban. As would Meta Mark and YouTube’s C-suite, no doubt dreaming of a clearer playing field for Instagram’s Reels and YouTube’s Shorts.

I support mass deletion despite the fact that TikTok is the most entertaining and informative app ever created by hand of man. Despite my dedication to the principle of free speech, the most important of our Constitutionally protected rights.

Nationalization Light - Great Censorship, Less Chilling

So my solution is the same as Orange Man’s failed proposal: force TikTok to sell the app to American shareholders. Call it nationalization light.

I make this proposal knowing that a) anything Trump is for half the country is against, and b) a forced sale is no guarantee against censorship and propaganda.

What’s that increasingly old saying? Sounds like a great idea! With the best of intentions! What could possibly go wrong?

Don’t ask me. Ask some of the 80 FBI agents charged with combatting “disinformation” on Twitter. Not that the Fibbies faced any consequences for betraying their Constitutional oath.

Anyway, I understand that TikTok nationalization light would betray America’s commitment to free trade, putting the fear of God into “friendly” extra-national or international corporations seeking access to the American market.

“Americanizing” TikTok for would also set a dangerous political precedent. Toe the Party line or we’ll take what’s yours and make it ours! As Russian soldiers told my father, what’s ours ours and what’s yours is ours.

Worth the Risk?

I reckon TikTok’s once and future danger to America is so great it’s worth the risks inherent in confiscatory regulation or an Executive Order.

TikTok would no doubt seek relief in American courts, citing the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause.

How ironic is that? Not as ironic as protecting China’s digital fifth column under the First Amendment. In TikTok’s case, two rights do make a wrong.

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