|by Chris McGinty of AccordingToWhim.com|
Only for factual correctness, I’m
going to point out that President Trump (the little punch line who could)
signed some executive orders going after TikTok and some other things. I think
that “PT Harm ‘Em” isn’t who we should be focused on though. It’s all of those
Washington DC fuckers we should be worried about, because there is a lot of
support from Congress about banning TikTok, as well. And that other guy, Joe “I’d
like to drop the Vice” Biden has it out for Facebook. They keep talking about
national security, spying, and election interference… because the voters are
apparently too dumb in their eyes to vote for who they want to be president.
This must be how they think it works:
PROSPECTIVE VOTER: You know who I
like for President? Joe Biden!
(Signs into Facebook and sees a
Russian paid ad.)
PROSPECTIVE VOTER: You know who I
like for President? Donald Trump!
(Signs into TikTok. Watches some
video talking smack about Trump promising, still to this day, that COVID-19 is
going to just disappear soon.)
PROSPECTIVE VOTER: You know what I
should do? Print a hundred thousand false ballots and mail them all in just to
screw over Trump, even though we don’t vote for the president, the Electoral
College does, which is why Clinton had more votes and Trump is our president.
CHINESE GOVERNMENT: Now we know
that this prospective voter does all his social media browsing while pooping.
The world will be ours!
The Destro Effect – The biggest
flaw in the plan to ban TikTok is that the world isn’t a thirty minute cartoon
series. What I mean by this is that Cobra Commander would come up with some
amazing plans to take over the world, and his plans would be on the verge of
working brilliantly. Then he’d realize that most of us actually wanted a Destro
action figure, but felt that Cobra Commander was kind of necessary after we already
had Destro. He would get jealous, betray Destro in some odd way, and it would
cause the otherwise flawless plan to fail. Why not just implement the same plan
again, and this time don’t betray Destro because his action figure was so much
cooler? The reason is that the audience doesn’t want to watch Cobra Commander
do the same plan every episode until it works. We want new, inventive plans
Banning TikTok isn’t like
stopping the M.A.S.S. Device though. If China is using TikTok to spy on the US,
and it gets banned, the Chinese government isn’t going to go, “Well, we need a
new, inventive plan. There’s no way we can just release thousands of games and
productivity apps, all with some thin explanation as to why it needs permissions
to everything that your phone (likely made in China) has that can be used to
spy.” Why would they revisit a plan that was working? Stupid meddling kids.
The Hillary Email Effect – What
this comes down to is that too many people who are high up are playing fast and
loose with national security. It’s not the fault of the tweens who are pouring
orange juice all over the kitchen floor while their horrified mother wonders
how she gave birth to such a moron. It’s not the fault of the common people. We
can only really repeat what the news has told us, and China already knows what
our news told us. It’s people like Hillary Clinton and Ivanka Trump using
insecure servers for emailing. It’s people in the military putting questionable
apps on their cell phones and getting tracked when they go to work. China doesn’t
care about what I do at work or with my free time. It seems to me that I can
have a mindless entertainment app that I mostly used to watch a talking dog
(Yep!) without China learning our deepest secrets.
This is the problem with having a
bunch of people in office who don’t understand technology. Why are we presuming
that TikTok is spying on us? It has something to do with their ability to
access our phones clipboards. Once again, I ask is it just TikTok that is doing
this. If it took us this long to figure out what TikTok was doing, what about
all the other stuff we download by the millions? And again, it doesn’t matter
to national security what I download. I don’t have that interesting of a life.
In fact, almost none of us have interesting lives.
What Are They Afraid Of? – All this
didn’t even start with TikTok. It started with Trump flipping out about Twitter
fact checking him and calling to repeal Section 230, and it started with Joe
Biden also calling for repealing Section 230 because of Facebook selling ads to
the Russians. It’s actually really interesting that we have two major parties
who can’t seem to agree on some seemingly easy things to agree on, like black lives
mattering and that we don’t want people getting sick. We might disagree on some
of the detail specifics of these things, but the overarching themes should be
nearly unanimous. But in the interest of election and/or reelection, our two
major parties are staunchly holding the narrative that they will never see eye
to eye on anything, except that Destro is clearly the cooler action figure.
Yet the two major parties agree
on a couple of things very clearly. They agree about repealing Section 230 and
they agree about banning TikTok. What’s interesting to me is that neither of
these moves will stop the companies from doing what they do. Facebook will
still sell ads to Russians, Twitter will still fact check Trump, and if TikTok
is spying on us the Chinese government will still be spying on us. It’s not
about these platforms.
The politicians in the US hate
the fact that the common person has a voice, because they can’t control the
narrative. There are millions of people in many, many countries fact checking
Trump every day. If Twitter was just a news outlet, their fact checking would
be limited, but with millions of users on neighbourhood watch, shit doesn’t get
Joe Biden doesn’t give a shit
about Russian ads. He knows that he’s likely to win as long as the election is
fair. Joe Biden doesn’t like the fact that he couldn’t control the Tara Reade
narrative. It was highly hypocritical for Anderson Cooper who accused Trump of
sexual assault during a debate based on a stupid recording to then turn around
and not ask Biden about actual allegations. Most people don’t really believe
Tara Reade, but also most people weren’t going to let the media sweep it under
the rug after the Brett Kavanaugh stuff.
That’s what they’re afraid of.
They don’t like that we have an informed public. Yeah, I get there are a lot of
dummies out there saying some really dumb stuff, but there are also people on
all sides of the political landscape calling out bad behaviours. I think this
attack on social media is a hugely important issue that has nothing to do with
party politics. It’s a major free speech issue.
I keep going back to George
Orwell. Between “Animal Farm” and “1984” there are a lot of things we should be
aware of. I’ve noted that while we were initially worried about the
surveillance aspect of “1984” that recently it’s been more about the newspeak.
Newspeak is a method of reporting that is used in “1984” to give the illusion
of being informed while not really giving any real information. A good example
of this is “Hillary’s Emails.” You can say those two words, and it will cause
some to be angry and some to be defensive; and yet, most of them couldn’t tell
you a whole lot about what the scandal was. It’s shorthand to create talking
points that lack any real information. Orwell couldn’t know what social media
would be, much less how it would work politically. Many people do just spout
the newspeak rhetoric of their party, but all it takes is enough people to be
paying attention and have enough time to post for the politicians to lose
control of the narrative.
I think the oddest thing to me is
that we have a free flow of information in the US. Anything that the general
public knows, the entire world knows. We also have spoken out against dictatorships
that ban information about democracy and other things we agree with. The next
logical step would seem to be that we would be happy for other countries to be
part of the overall discussion of our world. We’re not trying to stop the BBC
news from giving their thoughts on the election, so who cares if the Russians
run some ads? We’re not behind the Iron Curtain trying to protect our people
from the propaganda of the world. We believe, ostensibly, in freedom of
It’s not the elections. It’s not
foreign opinions. It’s fear of an informed public calling for real change
rather than repeating talking points. It’s the fear of losing control of the
talking points. I picked on Biden earlier about not being able to control the
narrative of the sexual assault allegations. Well, if we’re being honest, the
only thing that keeps Trump’s presidency going is because everyone has to be in
lockstep with his narrative. If you break ranks, then Trump’s lackeys will pile
on you the way that progressive Twitter will pile on you if you don’t apologize
at least once a day for the pain you’ve inflicted on the world by being white.
Trump can’t stand that people call him on his bullshit constantly.
And if you really watch many of
the politicians that currently hold office in the three branches, you’ll notice
that they can’t stand it either. We have to be careful, because these very same
people mostly agree on destroying social media, and opening up any website that
isn’t reporting “state sanctioned” news to litigation for misinformation. The
very same people who we excuse every day by saying, “Well, politicians have to
lie to get reelected,” are the people who want websites to get sued out of
existence if someone posts misinformation.
Chris McGinty is a blogger… for
now. The moment that Blogger can be sued for something that Chris McGinty might
one day write, Chris McGinty will no longer be a blogger, and Blogger will be a
news website, as long as they stick with the narrative.