In This Issue
Vol. 28 Issue 7
THE END OF TIKTOK IS NIGH
- A SUDDEN ACCELERATION OF CRINK AGGRESSION
- CANADA HAS A TRUDEAU PROBLEM
- THE US HAS A BYTEDANCE PROBLEM
- THE PROBLEM WITH PROJECT TEXAS
- THE POWER OF YOUTH CULTURE
Why Read: One of the world’s largest social-media companies is about to be forced out of business in the US. Find out why it’s time to future-proof your portfolio, your business, and your children’s emotional health against the end of TikTok.
A few months ago, I sat next to a young woman on a flight from LAX to Seattle. She had an expensive but casual sense of style, very white teeth, blonde hair, and clear intellect and confidence, and she spent most of the flight tip-tapping away on what was clearly business work. It’s not super often that I meet other women near my age traveling alone for business, so I asked her what she does.
“TikTok,” she said. “I recruit and cultivate influencers.” She told me this with what seemed like great pride, and I, consequently, tried very hard to feign admiration.
My honest reaction would have been: “Oh! Are you not worried that the US government will shut down the Chinese information-warfare network you work for?”
Or: “Have you thought critically about the fact that your company’s business model is based around teaching young Americans to mindlessly imitate one another while destroying their ability to focus on anything for longer than 30 seconds?”
But I held my tongue. She was from Oregon, working remotely and trying to negotiate an ongoing remote arrangement at what she said was her dream job. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that her dream job would one day be revealed to have been part of an advanced Chinese influence operation.
I have always believed that the US would eventually figure out the Trojan horse that is TikTok – if not before, then after it had been effectively used to undermine American democracy. But recent events make me increasingly sure that an overarching federal response is likely in the next few months.
Recently surfaced intelligence reports about Chinese interference in Canadian elections – combined with an escalation in tensions between Russia, China, and the US – suggest that TikTok, in its current ownership structure and iteration, is doomed.
Prediction: The US will ban ByteDance from US mobile platforms and/or financial transactions, neutering TikTok as a potential avenue for Chinese influence operations.