As a Woman of Trusting the Government Experience, I Can't Believe the Government Would Do This

Illustration for article titled As a Woman of Trusting the Government Experience, I Cant Believe the Government Would Do This
Photo: Keystone (Getty Images)

Another crack emerges on my already busted-up phone, no casing to protect it as it drops from my hands to the hardwood floor below.

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I’d been scrolling on Twitter, about to share a petition calling on people, in general, to share more petitions, when an Associated Press story caught my eye.

“Trump is going to ban TikTok?” I shout in disbelief, the plates in my sink behind me crusted with two-day-old marinara. “Why, that’s just ridiculous!”

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I mean, over 152,000 people have died of covid-19 in the United States, and the coronavirus pandemic shows no sign of slowing down yet. Plus, Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality are still happening nationwide some two-and-a-half months after George Floyd’s death, even as local police and federal agents ramp up the violence in cities across the country. And in the face of all this unnecessary death and destruction, the Associated Press reports that the President has decided that his no. 1 priority should be banning the app that zoomers use to make me feel ancient and crone-like?

“Unconscionable!!” I scream at the drooping monstera I’ve neglected to water, going on four days. “Why would he do that? Doesn’t he know there’s more important things to attend to?!”

The hairs on my arms bristle at the swiftness and severity of Trump’s unbelievable abuse of power, his promise to sign some kind of executive order as early as Saturday. My jaw drops as I read further into the matter, only to discover what the Trump administration’s stated reasoning is: that ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese owner, could be harvesting American user data, according to USA Today.

“But American app makers and tech companies do that, too!” I shout at my withering goldendoodle, Catherine, her water bowl dry as a bone. “It’s hypocritical, Catherine—the very height of hypocrisy! I simply can’t believe it. Why would the government do this? It’s not fair or legal—much less right!”

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I turn away from Catherine, lest I overwhelm her. Retiring to my bedroom, I slip on a nap dress, and tuck myself in, ready for another busy day of starving my dependents in a tunnel-visioned refusal to see the state for what it is. Delusion, self-righteousness, a dog who might be dead—and they say you can’t have it all…

Freelance journalist (GQ, Esquire, Out, elsewhere), here on weekends

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DISCUSSION

well... it has been classified as Spyware by tech experts and developers/programmers who actually know what they are talking about and while you are right that companies do gather user data... tiktok is gathering data on a much creepier extreme.

Computer security experts have found that the app is using an exploit with the clipboard to track the exact location of the user when they copy and paste a picture... even if the user has disabled letting the app have access to their location. When you take into account there is an entire minority group that is constantly being tracked in China and forced into re-education camps and that Tik-Tok’s parent company actually is employed by the CCP to make propaganda... the whole location tracking feature looks like it could possibly be there to closely monitor that same minority group. (Uighurs)

Researchers also found that the app was outright copying data from users’ clipboards on androids.

So yeah... considering the companies ties to the CCP and the human rights violations that are being spun as just “re-education” by it’s propaganda spewing parent company... I’d say it’s a good idea not to download the app anyway... otherwise you are sponsoring the uighur concentration camps.

I don't agree with Trump on most things... but this backlash against Tik Tok doesn't seem to understand how shady the company is and how their company is currently connect to the Chinese surveillance state which has essentially subjugated an entire population of people and created modern day slaves. Tik Tok is sketchy af!