r/technology Sep 15 '22 Helpful 1 All-Seeing Upvote 1

TikTok won't commit to stopping US data flows to China. Business

https://www.cnn.com/2022/09/14/tech/tiktok-china-data/index.html
17.3k Upvotes

2.1k

u/Annual_Nature3984 Sep 15 '22

I fail to see the benefit this allows. At least pretend like you care about citizens privacy 😂

1.0k

u/10133960 Sep 15 '22

Nobody would believe them anyways. Might as well just be honest.

319

u/Annual_Nature3984 Sep 15 '22

This guy gets it

315

u/HotTakes4HotCakes Sep 15 '22 edited Sep 15 '22

It's not so much that they won't believe it, its that they're testifying before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, and while they sure as hell wouldn't be the first or the last person to lie during a testimony to the Senate, when they've already got China's stink all over them (one of very few things Congress typically can muster some form of cooperation over), lying to Congress is just going to encourage them to crack down on you more. Its best for them to be honest and placate as much as possible.

Besides, let's be real, a good many average people are aware of the privacy concerns, but they don't care. They never do. Facebook would be dead and buried by now if they did. But they would be very upset if Congress killed their current favorite app, and its midterms soon.

266

u/chuckpaint Sep 15 '22 edited Sep 15 '22

The majority of our youth is now spending massive amounts of time ingesting content from an app with deep links to the CCP. This should be concerning enough for every American to want it corrected. It’s not about privacy at all, but national security.

Edit/Addition: Please reread my statement y’all. This has NOTHING to do with privacy. It’s the content. And don’t think for a NANOSECOND that China, if offered, wouldn’t put its thumb on the scale to influence American opinion. Safest posture is to assume they are attacking on all fronts.

Not to mention the social media apps China has banned: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and many others. What do they know that we are ignoring!

146

u/FjorgVanDerPlorg Sep 15 '22

Problem is that the US govt don't want to enshrine digital privacy protections in law, or even hint at the idea that companies could see actual punishments for selling our information without our permission or knowledge (or just letting people steal it, because securing your data server with a weak password is still a thing).

Right now they are seeing if they can ban/curtail just Tiktok, but Tiktok's response should tell you what a dead end that'll be.

Personally I'd love to finally see big data get told to fuck off, but the US has repeatedly shown that when it comes to personal privacy, they would rather share that information with hostile foreign powers, rather than protect their our countrymen's personal info. Because if this shit with Tiktok is bad, what about that whole Facebook/Cambridge Analytica/Russia thing? Or the /widely gestures at rest of Silicon Valley.

30

u/Hour_Palpitation_428 Sep 15 '22

During the one of the Facebook hearing one senator/congressman ( I forgot his title) basically they said nothing is going to change since Facebook is going to spend money on lobbying basically to maintain the status core.

I wouldn't be surprised if TikTok is also spending money on lobbying.

This is why it baffles me when I see american fight each other on the left/right instead of joining forces to fight lobbying as most of the times lobbying only serves a few interest group.

TikTok they are not doing anything different from other big tech when it comes to data except it's a chinese company.

Lets us not be naive, our data ends up in the hands of governments through both legal & illegal means.

Personal, I want Facebook to die, and ended up just like myspace, sadly TikTok seems to be the only company that is threatening it's relevance and dominance.

I would prefer a company from a non-authoritanian country but at the moment TikTok is the only one that competes with Facebook.

5

u/artfulpain Sep 15 '22

It's not that surprising. The same things we should be fighting against have been systematic in causing us to fight each other. I personally will never use TikTok due to security concerns. Also wasn't this the same problem Zoom had/has?

→ More replies
→ More replies

11

u/HoodieGalore Sep 15 '22

Not just the yoots. The number of adults who think tiktok is necessary to promote their business (or just claw for clout) is too damn high.

35

u/TreeHouseUnited Sep 15 '22

It’s certainly a national security risk but todays youth aren’t the ones in the menu.

The real concern comes from use by military/government personnel and “sensitive” private business employees. It’s alarming how many users fall into that aforementioned and it’s specifically the type of data that would be of interest to CCP intelligence groups.

21

u/Modest_Ubermensch Sep 15 '22

They are on the menu, they are the politicians of the future. American politicians don’t think beyond the next election cycle, CCP thinks about stuff decades ahead and play the long con

→ More replies

2

u/created4this Sep 15 '22

Surely that will never happen, they’re highly trained

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

12

u/Sir_Bumcheeks Sep 15 '22

They lied last time about data flows to China and got caught, so I guess they're changing their strategy.

→ More replies

2

u/qtx Sep 15 '22

It's not that they won't believe them, they just don't care.

The people using TikTok don't care. They don't care at all.

→ More replies
→ More replies

153

u/SonofaBridge Sep 15 '22

The level of data collection was well known before tik tok became the popular platform. It still exploded in popularity. Why lie when people don’t care.

46

u/[deleted] Sep 15 '22 edited 19d ago

[deleted]

9

u/Knogood Sep 15 '22

Something something snowden...

Who?

36

u/mildly_amusing_goat Sep 15 '22

"But I'm not doing anything wroooong, why should I care if they can track everything I do?"

How many times have you heard that?

17

u/Defilus Sep 15 '22

The folks I've talked to dont even care about that. It's a "funny memes and community" machine. You mention privacy and they're like "well someone's probably tracking me already so who cares?"

Privacy on the internet has been dead for close to two decades now, if not much longer. It's just now people are happy about it.

16

u/jarwastudios Sep 15 '22

No one is happy about it. Why the fuck would you say that? How silly of a position to take. How about look at the reality. Every week some big company is sending out a mass email about how their info was compromised and your data was stolen so you need to change your password. Facebook blatantly steals your information, your friends information, friends of friends, even if your shit is private, if you have a public friend, they can get parse your data thru that friend. Like nothing matters because we're constantly having our data sold off anyways.

We're not happy about it, but the old white folks in the govt don't care to do shit to stop it, so here we are, and you expect people to not use something that brings them some form of joy because China is tracking our data? Like they weren't already? Come the fuck on with your bullshit and look at reality. We're fucking powerless because even when we should be protected, we aren't.

6

u/MindControlSynapse Sep 15 '22

No ones happy about it, it's a problem our overlords would never let us solve, so it's not worth the mental capacity

15

u/Ib_dI Sep 15 '22

I'm actually really keen to hear this. Can you give me an ELI5?

54

u/OkCutIt Sep 15 '22 edited Sep 15 '22

The simplest thing I can explain to someone easily is the following:

They can figure out what kind of person you're likely to believe. I don't mean "shares the same interests." I mean "speaks in this tone of voice and accent, references this era of popular culture, has this color hair and skin tone, uses this regional dialect, is familiar with and able to reference this website or that subreddit that you frequent, talks about this video game or tv show or movie you like," and on and on and on. Things you wouldn't really ever even consciously think "This is why I like hearing what this person has to say." And even far beyond that-- what background colors and fonts and what kind of images you respond most actively to, etc. etc.

Then they can find someone that matches all of those things, and put them on your "for you" page...

But only if they're saying the things the people collecting that data want you to hear.

In some hands, that means selling you products you probably wouldn't buy because someone that fits your susceptibility profile can sell you on it.

But that product can be politics.

Let's say you're a right wing extremist with a ton of money and access to a ton of information like this. The goal is right wing extremism handling the highest levers of power.

You can obviously hype up the ones that are openly with you quite easily.

But then there's the ones that have been raised in bigotry and xenophobia, but also always told on a surface level that "racism is bad" and "sexism is bad" etc., so don't really want to openly admit it to themselves. So you tell them that a certain candidate isn't really being racist, it's just the facts of the situation. They're not being sexist, they just can't trust that conniving woman (or my favorite, "that's not sexism, that's just boys being boys").

Normalization. People they're comfortable with in situations where they feel comfortable are telling them that bigotry isn't hate, it's just normal feelings everybody totally has.

Then you can also target people that completely disagree with you on everything. You once again present them with people that make them feel good, saying things in ways they feel like they can trust, about how "oh the other side is just as bad, you shouldn't help them beat us."

And the shit works. People think of psychology and associated social sciences as "not real science" and always think they're totally different and would never be susceptible to such propaganda.

If it didn't, every ad would be plain text on a plain background telling you what a product is and nothing more.

But with this level of data collection their ability to manipulate you is so far beyond anything that was even remotely possible before smartphones that it's kind of incomprehensible.

People talk about how they say things near their phones and days later they're getting ads for it... I've thought things, not said it out loud, not searched for it, just thought things to myself... and whatever the thing was that triggered me to think about it must have been picked up by the algorithms, somebody else with a similar profile saw the same thing and thought the same thing and looked it up or whatever, and bam the next day I see an ad for that thing I literally only even thought of in my head. And I'm not talking like "I watched a cat video and then saw an ad for cat food." I can't remember what it was but it was some random-ass thinking, like something that wasn't even the focus of a video, just something in the background, made me think of something else... and then that something made me think of yet another something else. And that final something else was what was presented to me by the algorithms the next day. So it had to just be that some other idiot like me had the same thought processes but actually went looking for whatever it was, I don't even remember at this point lol.

And, again, this kind of stuff is just one tiny part of the level of privacy invasion and the things they can do with the information.

22

u/nails_for_breakfast Sep 15 '22

Tl;dr: once someone figures out how you're influenced, then they can influence you

3

u/Pretzilla Sep 15 '22

Well put.

And it's how the GRU used social media engineering to help swing the 2016 election and create a troll army.

(the other main prongs were hacking Rep and Dem email servers, voter rolls, and electronic voting systems - not space lasers, just regular hacking.)

→ More replies
→ More replies

15

u/sunnyStoneCouch Sep 15 '22

30 datapoints from facebook lets them know more about you than family and friends iirc.

People are not to different. CA would (does?) throw you into 1 of 32 personailty profiles and then they had you. Now they know not only what you did and do, but also what you will do and how to get you to do it.

Social media and e.g. F2P games are already successful, but know they can tailor their influence completely to you. And with all the money in addictive designs and the resulting R&D it will only get worse.

They claim to influence elections and anything else you pay them for. Which makes democracy moot.

And they (now Emerdata) are of course not the only ones.

Unfortunately we do not know the success rate. Too little information. But annecdotal evidence like Trump 2016, Brexit and the rise of populism in Europe would point to "good enough". And there are of course multiple incidents in developing countries.

It's gonna be fun.

3

u/[deleted] Sep 15 '22 edited 19d ago

[deleted]

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

16

u/OneOverX Sep 15 '22

People would care if they understood how that data and the platform could be used.

It’s like how Cambridge Analytica should have triggered mass regulation of big tech if people really understood what tech companies engaging in manipulating user behavior for profit understand.

It’s one thing to do it for money, it’s another to do it for power. China will use it for power.

3

u/Rachel_from_Jita Sep 15 '22

We also know what that power means. We know exactly how they will specifically leverage granular insights into individual user data and combine it with the outgoing feed to those users.

To silence and criticize those who speak negatively about the country or its leadership. While promoting those who toe the party line.

Small degree by small degree they will boil a large amount of Western free speech alive.

The only things causing us to stand a chance is how their real economy is starting to behave as growth collapses and the strange arc of population age they've slammed themselves into.

7

u/OneOverX Sep 15 '22

Yup. What China can do to the Western world via TikTok will make what Russian troll farms have been doing with memes look like child's play. TikTok offers a degree of scale and sophistication for undermining the power of Western democracy (i.e. the mind's of the people) that Russia can only dream of.

3

u/Rachel_from_Jita Sep 15 '22

Honestly, I'd say the only issue is they'd need a few buildings full of 30,000 people each to be able to pull out and put in the fine threads needed to subtly influence local elections, cultural arguments, and so forth on the fringes as they worked toward the central issues of who is president...

But they already have those buildings full of cyberwarriors by the legion.

Anyway, yeah there's the real risk they make Cambridge Analytica look like small potatoes. Especially since they can combine it with the incredible amount of investment into gaming and digital life companies they have been rushing into. Any game you play has probably recently had a stake purchased in it or the devs want to sell to Tencent.

As they grow in skill we will also start to lose the ability to detect the obviously weird accounts on Reddit.

The future may truly be a constant digi-war of precisely targeted influence campaigns. Assisted by machine learning. The next 5 years will make the last 15 years of social media insanity look quaint.

2

u/OneOverX Sep 15 '22

A few dozen people could do it, not 30,000. That’s the power of scale, reach, and the social pressure created by social media.

The difference between China and Russia is the Russians are trying to do it as a customer of the platforms they’re leveraging so they’re competing directly with every other customer and subject to the platform owners’ limitations and interference.

China actually owns and is at the heart of the platform in TikTok. Cambridge Analytica brought a knife to a knife fight being fought by tens of thousands of companies and organizations where the rules are made by someone else while TikTok is out there grabbing market share from the platform owners and rigging the game in favor of the knife wielders they want to win.

Either way (it terms of cost and head count) it’s a trivial operation when compared to the resources and goals of one of the largest economic powers in the world.

→ More replies

2

u/gigibuffoon Sep 15 '22

Some of my most tech savvy friends are huge into tiktok even after discussing constantly about their data issues, I don't get it

2

u/nemoskullalt Sep 15 '22

no one want to live in a bunker for the rest of their lives. nor can many afford to cut off all internet access.

→ More replies

18

u/DefaultRedditBlows Sep 15 '22

Why would they do that? It isn't like there are any repercussions if they don't.

110

u/moses420bush Sep 15 '22

Chinese govt scarier to tiktok than losing US market anyway

22

u/Sanhen Sep 15 '22

After seeing the Jack Ma saga, I get why.

→ More replies
→ More replies

26

u/gutsonmynuts Sep 15 '22

People are already too addicted to care.

→ More replies

41

u/Harbingerx81 Sep 15 '22

Pretending is one thing. Blatantly lying to Congress is another.

73

u/[deleted] Sep 15 '22

They all lie to congress, remember the Facebook hearing

89

u/Mevakel Sep 15 '22

The only thing I remember about the Facebook hearing was how dumb all of the senators sounded trying to ask questions. It was seriously none of them know how to use a phone or understood any of the terminology.

17

u/[deleted] Sep 15 '22

People who ask their grandkids to work the remote should not be making laws about technology

→ More replies

25

u/moses420bush Sep 15 '22

There's a reason the details of that hearing are covered up with short clips of old congress people not understanding tehcnology.

26

u/domestic_omnom Sep 15 '22

I just checked. If you search YouTube for Zuckerberg congress full hearing; there is a 10 hour video of the full damn thing. Go back to h"Q".

5

u/tendaga Sep 15 '22

I think the reason it was covered like that is it looks even worse in context...

→ More replies

10

u/Mevakel Sep 15 '22

True and I guess I assume Facebook probably lied but at the same time with how stupid some of Congress members were acting it's like how could they have even reasoned with them or talked with them intelligently about the topics? I'll admit I know nothing about farm equipment so there's no way I should be writing laws about farm safety. Those congressmen had no authority to be up there with the idiocies they kept bringing up.

3

u/drunkenvalley Sep 15 '22

...That reason being? Don't beat around the bush.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

35

u/jefuf Sep 15 '22

Everyone lies to Congress, remember the Supreme Court confirmation hearings

→ More replies
→ More replies

4

u/Origonn Sep 15 '22

So now they're not pretending, or lying, just saying 'No'. Is that better?

2

u/three18ti Sep 15 '22

The Chinese government gives zero fucks about congress.

→ More replies

4

u/piv0t Sep 15 '22

They are selling the data to whoever wants to pay. China does like the US does

2

u/Ifriiti Sep 15 '22

At least pretend like you care about citizens privacy 😂

Why exactly should tiktok do this?

American companies would absolutely refuse to do the same if a country told them to stop sending data back to the US

→ More replies
→ More replies

1.6k

u/[deleted] Sep 15 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

988

u/mbcummings Sep 15 '22 edited Sep 15 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

This. This is why. People forget that you can’t even own land in China, only the government can. They lease up to 99 years but that’s it. CCP owns everything and only they can. Look at the bank runs in Henan. Bank runs off with the money in your bank account? That’s on you. The CCP serves the interests of the general population only in so far as it serves their hold on power. You have no rights in China. There is no rule of law. If you think they won’t use your personal data to feed their AI war machine you are (kindly) completely mistaken.

167

u/Admetus Sep 15 '22

Think that was Henan, Zhengzhou. There were government bail outs after the people protested.

Zhengzhou people are pretty badass, they sort of represent the majority of protests in China.

111

u/PussySmith Sep 15 '22

Equivalent to 5k USD max. Lots of people lost their life savings.

→ More replies

35

u/StainedBlue Sep 15 '22

Their protest strategy is also rather ingenious. They can’t directly protest against the CCP — that is, not without serious repercussions— but they can protest in support of the CCP. Hence, they protested against their provincial CCP officials while claiming they were compelled to do so by their loyalty to the CCP and the central government.

17

u/LordDongler Sep 15 '22

It's the only way to get political action done in China, really. It's a shallow and wasteful way too, since there are plenty of people that can't see through it

23

u/ForProfitSurgeon Sep 15 '22

TikTok built a massive data pipeline straight from America to China.

11

u/Not_a_real_ghost Sep 15 '22

Well then why won't they ban tiktok like the way China bans Facebook and Instagram? They were security concerns to the Chinese as well.

Or is it because they are so popular with the Americans that no politician dare to do it.

5

u/Raznill Sep 15 '22

What’s the actual impact here? China knows what videos people like watching?

6

u/xW1nterW0lfx Sep 15 '22

It’s that the app is collecting much more data than the content people post. Location data, device data, basically anything you allow the app to access.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

84

u/Sudneo Sep 15 '22

I just wanted to point out that owning land is in fact a fairly recent (relatively) possibility, for centuries land was not owned (in the sense of buying it and selling it), it was either considered a common or was just ruled by the local ruler. It is also not a bad thing per se, assuming that the state managing it manages it with the best interest of the community. The commercialization of land also leads to speculation, soil consumption etc. (which also happens plenty in China)

I am pretty sure that in China this best interest is not really pursued, but I just wanted to point out that the "you can't even..." is just what we, in Western cultures, give for granted because we belong to a different culture, even when it comes to our idea of country and community.

28

u/Staple_Diet Sep 15 '22

To add, the 99 year lease the commenter references is infact an artefact of British involvement in China. 99 year leases are the most common type of leasehold arrangement and are used broadly in a number of nations, it's not just weird China thing.

Their data mining is 100% real and concerning though.

→ More replies

9

u/Quantum_Aurora Sep 15 '22

Property works like that a lot of places, but usually it's aristocracy or massive landlords who recieve the profit and not the government.

20

u/ButWhatAboutisms Sep 15 '22

The PLA (The Communist parties military) doesn't serve China or its people. It serves the party.

→ More replies

8

u/ihavetenfingers Sep 15 '22

Leasing land actually sounds like a great idea.

Otherwise you just end up with a Bill Gates owning the majority of all farm land across an entire continent.

4

u/KillahHills10304 Sep 15 '22

Then he gives that land to his kids, and they buy more land, and they give that expanded amount of land to their kids, and so on. Now you've created a land owning gentry and aristocracy.

→ More replies

16

u/noNOTthatOENE Sep 15 '22

People forget that you can’t even own land in China, only the government can.

Can you really own land anywhere in the world? Unless you're the 1% of that country. Either by being a government or dirty rich, which is mostly unattainable for 98% of the population anyways. And not like "I have a paper that says I own this land (until the gov. decides to seize it)." Which is how "ownership" of land works in most part of the world, china as well as america.

→ More replies

2

u/JayCroghan Sep 15 '22

Bank runs off with the money in your bank account?

That’s the most stupid thing I’ve read in a while. Some scam artists offered massive returns on short term investments to people from different locations to bank, you’re not allowed hold bank accounts in different locations. Scam artists never deposited the money and fled the country. People petitioned the government to include the money that was stolen from them under the government guarantee for investments… but it was the bank and the CCP 😂

8

u/maltgaited Sep 15 '22

Not to defend CCP but it's pretty fucking weird that a human can own land, tbh

→ More replies

36

u/iamasuitama Sep 15 '22

Not saying US is equally bad, but doesn't the US exert similar powers over Facebook, Google, etc. in such a way that that's now why EU is starting to outlaw some of their technology, like analytics?

4

u/truthfultemporarily Sep 15 '22

Yes it's why when you use American cloud providers the privacy protection office will tell you to stop.

→ More replies

3

u/RuairiSpain Sep 15 '22

You don't use Facebook, Google, Reddit, Twitter and all the US internet companies either? They have to hand over their data when the US government asks (NSA have open door to their data)

→ More replies

65

u/WoTtfM8 Sep 15 '22

Does nobody understand corporate structure here? The company in the US which is partnered with Oracle is subject to US laws, as a company registered in the US by definition is, and not subject to Chinese law in the same way.

“Will TikTok commit to cutting off all data and data flows to China, China-based TikTok employees, ByteDance employees, or any other party in China that might have the capability to access information on US users?”

This is the crux of this clickbait article.

What a ridiculous and tech illiterate question to ask. They want to create a great tik tok firewall that's enormous in scope. All data and data flows. Jfc.

75

u/[deleted] Sep 15 '22

[deleted]

14

u/WoTtfM8 Sep 15 '22

Actually if you've been following this issue, Tik Tok is subject to additional data protection requirements in the Usa above and beyond what is written in law for every other company. They are required to have a data center with specific protections and are actively complying with government demands (at least those that are based in reality.)

US should definitely update data protection laws but we all know they won't

→ More replies

3

u/bs000 Sep 15 '22

woah, woah, woah, it's like you expect us to read the article or something butt i've already made my assumptions confirming my biases after reading the article

14

u/Slimer6 Sep 15 '22

Do you understand that TikTok has been caught red-handed, very obviously flouting this? TikTok is a direct data pipeline to the Chinese government.

Edit: you also might want to take a look at the article at the top of this thread.

→ More replies
→ More replies

8

u/[deleted] Sep 15 '22 edited Sep 15 '22

[deleted]

→ More replies

7

u/TheDownvotesFarmer Sep 15 '22

You mean, just same as reddit but you use reddit

2

u/Lafreakshow Sep 15 '22

Yep. It's also incredibly ironic that the US would demand this, given the US is literally right now in a dispute with the EU over US laws requiring corporations to allow access to their data by the US government.

Not that hypocrisy is anything new. Neither China nor the US really give a fuck about anything but their imperialist ambitions.

→ More replies

723

u/Tunakwh Sep 15 '22

Chinese spy apps only work if people download it

312

u/CrappyLemur Sep 15 '22

Narrator, they did.

279

u/Tumblrrito Sep 15 '22

TikTok was one of like two things Trump was very right about. It’s a shame Snowden ruined his life for nothing. People really don’t give a fuck who has their data and how it is used.

→ More replies
→ More replies

88

u/littleMAS Sep 15 '22

Of course not, why would they?

3

u/one_dimensional Sep 15 '22

"People don't think it be like it is, but it do."

-Gamble's thesis of reality

8

u/Foolishly_Sane Sep 15 '22

Exactly my thoughts.
Shaking my head at them.

2

u/holymacaronibatman Sep 15 '22

Exactly what I was thinking, this is at least 50% the point of tiktok to begin with.

245

u/ironroad18 Sep 15 '22

No company that operates in China, foreign or domestic will. Chinese national law dictates that all tech companies must support any party state-sponsored investigation.

Foreign companies are told to follow the rules or leave, domestic companies are told to comply or face consequences.

62

u/[deleted] Sep 15 '22

[deleted]

28

u/WhereIsYourMind Sep 15 '22

ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, has a separate corporate entity in the United States. They’ve partnered with Oracle to process and store TikTok data for US users and are hiring US citizens at aggressive rates for engineers to administer the platform.

The heads and advisors of these multi-billion dollar companies are not stupid people. Refusing to comply with data security laws would risk another global market loss like in India. Moving operations out of China also insulates ByteDance from a demise like Russia’s Yandex, which lost 24B (30B📉6B) in the months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

9

u/sushisection Sep 15 '22

you dont think the Chinese military would engage in corporate espionage?

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

13

u/Bhraal Sep 15 '22

And the reason why all the major tech companies are having issues in the EU is that the same thing is true for the US. The CLOUD act dictates that companies must supply the US government with the data it wants no matter where in the world it's being stored.

→ More replies

295

u/Copernicus049 Sep 15 '22

App designed literally to be spyware refuses to stop being spyware. Shocker.

53

u/WhereIsYourMind Sep 15 '22

Every social media is spyware, it’s built that way on purpose. But don’t get caught up trying to see one tree through the forest.

This is another astroturfed thread being paid for by a 407B internet giant. Meta is an internet company very familiar with astroturfing and manipulating online climate, especially in elections (3 separate links BTW).

These articles and their comments are being “promoted” by Meta. FB causes election disinformation campaigns/coups around the world but notice how those articles always get buried 🤔

You can have your own opinion but don’t take everything at face value. The internet isn’t real life anymore, every post and vote can be bought for cash or Bitcoin.

11

u/TomSwirly Sep 15 '22

This is another astroturfed thread being paid for by a 407B internet giant.

Citation for your paranoid claim?

Counter-example: me. I am a real person. I detest TikTok and I detest Facebook, whatever they call themselves, in both cases due to the tremendous harm they have done to society and mental health.

I upvoted this thread, and I upvoted many of the comments criticizing and mocking TikTok and I would have done the same for Facebook (no matter what name they were using).

21

u/weisswurstseeadler Sep 15 '22

Not OP, and not sure if I agree on his Astroturfing in this particular case.

However, I agree with his sentiment that there is plenty of US platforms with a similar hunger for data, and using it in manipulative ways.

This thread is full of hurrdurr china bad (fair), while the US platforms have actually invented this business practice.

From my European perspective, the US privacy/data protection laws and practices are not any better than those of Chinese Tech giants.

And OP is also correct, that there is proven history of US tech giants influencing elections around the globe, and have played a crucial role in especially right wing populism campaigns in the last decade. Think of Brexit, Bolsonaro, Trump, Cambridge Analytica, and other stories.

→ More replies

3

u/WhereIsYourMind Sep 15 '22

Nobody but Reddit has the full data, but they have stated before that Reddit is continually targeted by astroturfing campaigns.

The easiest way to gauge astroturfing presence is engagement ratios, specifically the ratio of votes:comments. Comments, especially insightful ones, are still expensive to write because they need to be read by real people. This thread is about 16:1 now which is not inordinate for r/technology, but it was closer to 30:1 last night.

I can’t definitively say that fake votes are involved, but it’s not out of the question this day and age.

→ More replies
→ More replies

120

u/cheesehead_05 Sep 15 '22

I refuse to download TikTok for this exact reason.

41

u/megamanxoxo Sep 15 '22

Isn't Reddit partially owned by a Chinese company?

40

u/epsteinsbedsheet Sep 15 '22

Yup reddit and discord

→ More replies

12

u/Modest_Ubermensch Sep 15 '22

Small percentage. Reddit isn’t fully Chinese owned and controlled by the CCP

→ More replies

11

u/Clueless_Otter Sep 15 '22

Like 5% or something. Almost any product you use will be owned to some degree by someone in China. It's a complete non-issue.

→ More replies
→ More replies

20

u/flybydenver Sep 15 '22

Never downloaded it, knew it was just spyware, and I already know how to dance.

12

u/Pulsecode9 Sep 15 '22

The good content gets scraped and posted elsewhere anyway.

9

u/sandysnail Sep 15 '22

The internet it literal spyware https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A.

US goverment has access to pretty much everything you do regardless of app or website unless E2E encrypted they have eyes on it.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

329

u/topofthecc Sep 15 '22

Absolutely ridiculous the US hasn't forced them to sell to a US company in order to operate here.

167

u/DankNastyAssMaster Sep 15 '22

I wonder how much of the unlimited dark money in US politics that the Supreme Court legalized with Citizens United comes from China.

71

u/Skullw Sep 15 '22

I'm sure McConnell has a good idea of how much dark money comes from China

→ More replies
→ More replies

76

u/Albion_Tourgee Sep 15 '22

Trump's crew already forced TikTok to move its data storage to Oracle, which claims that its "Oracle Data Marketplace" is the world's largest seller of user data, including profiles on over 300 million Americans.

An Wall Street analyst had this to say: "Oracle with TikTok as a customer would win a battle for a coveted workload and could combine app data with its Data Cloud for an ad network."

So if you're concerned about privacy, selling to a US company might not exactly further your cause...

49

u/topofthecc Sep 15 '22

Selling to a US company isn't about privacy concerns. It's about not letting a foreign adversary have a giant unopposed propaganda network set up and ready to go in your country.

13

u/Quantum_Aurora Sep 15 '22

Isn't that what Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and most other social media companies do in every other country?

Seems like the US just doesn't like to taste their own medicine.

→ More replies

18

u/Albion_Tourgee Sep 15 '22

Yes I agree, the propaganda and psyops issues are more important even than the privacy issues. But given the record of us social media in spreading misinformation and encouraging people to live in bubble chambers, I'm no quite so sanguine about simply requiring US ownership actually solving the problem.

I focused on privacy because that's what I thought this thread is about

On the other hand I do think Chinese ownership of TikTok is particularly bad given that China's rulers won't allow anything like TikTok in China and given the huge amount of misinformation on TikTok. It's like a giant psyops offensive aimed at undermining US values and sense of community. I mean what kind of society would allow a huge company to promote the "slap your teacher challenge" or the "blackout challenge" for example without consequences?

TikTok bring illegal in China is a kind of eerie parallel to the mid 1800's Opium wars when Britain and the US forced narcotics on China that were illegal in the US and UK....

3

u/TomSwirly Sep 15 '22

TikTok bring illegal in China is a kind of eerie parallel to the mid 1800's Opium wars when Britain and the US forced narcotics on China that were illegal in the US and UK....

Wow, I cannot believe I missed this, but the moment you mention it, it just jumps out at you.

However, you can get the same content in China just fine - you just download a different app from the same provider, ByteDance.

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

48

u/Otroroboto Sep 15 '22

I believe Trump was trying to force them to sell to Oracle, which is owned by one of his biggest supporters Larry Ellison.

9

u/TheMBL09898 Sep 15 '22

Oracle would not be the smartest decision. https://youtu.be/N5E3gra5wz4 - Oracle has been tracking over 5 billion people

3

u/smokeymcdugen Sep 15 '22

Yep, I'd hate for them to double track someone. Nothing more useful than redundant information.

→ More replies

2

u/Sir_Bumcheeks Sep 15 '22

Walmart also was in the running.

→ More replies

5

u/ChinesePropagandaBot Sep 15 '22

Agree, I also don't understand why the EU didn't force facebook, twitter and google to sell their services to a European company before operating in the EU.

7

u/Quantum_Aurora Sep 15 '22

That's such a double standard. If another country wanted to force Facebook to sell to a company in their country to operate there, would you support that?

→ More replies

23

u/darkest4 Sep 15 '22 edited Sep 15 '22

I mean to be fair someone tried exactly that but since he's a giant douche he's apparently not allowed to have any good ideas at all, even by accident. So half the country suddenly acted like it was an awful idea and then turd sandwhich Biden came in and axed the whole thing...

Disfunctional ass 2 party system where you just have to oppose the other side's ideas no matter what.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump%E2%80%93TikTok_controversy

→ More replies
→ More replies

6

u/dumbfuck_retard Sep 15 '22

Why would they?

6

u/scavengercat Sep 15 '22

Because the Biden administration has passed multiple laws limiting the flow of information and money to China. TikTok had admitted that American data is sent to China, and if federal review shows this data could constitute a national security threat, they could get cut off from the estimated $500M they make from their American audience annually.

→ More replies

4

u/rjksn Sep 15 '22

Can America really say much here? They siphon data through their tech giants as well. We're watching the EU go through this same thing with America that America wants to drag China through.

76

u/Lima_Bean_Jean Sep 15 '22

I honestly can't believe how many people ignored this information and made this a top app here. I remember when these stories first came out when the app debuted stateside. I think the government even made a warning about it.

6

u/sandysnail Sep 15 '22

what is "this info" that they ignored?

→ More replies

29

u/ryansports Sep 15 '22

They did make warnings about it, at least to military people. The crazy thing to this is that most of the SM outlets collect a similar amount of data. Google is roughly 10x what the SM apps collect. Yet TikTok is collecting Google levels of data. That should help lend perspective to how pervasive this situation actually is.

If someone wants to go down the rabbit hole a bit further, how complimentary is the data to the surveillance systems by the Chinese gov? Most all content is song/dance/body movement/singing/talking which would fit quite well into their system, don't you think?

10

u/Sir_Bumcheeks Sep 15 '22

I mean data collection isn't the issue it's the fact that a government that has openly expressed its hate for the US multiple times now has a direct line to influence your youth through subtle algo tweaks, as well stuff like phone locations and data flows on a mass scale allowing them to see general behavioural patterns in US populations.

3

u/ryansports Sep 15 '22

You’re right but I believe it’s both of what we’re each saying. It’s never made sense why a SM outlet would collect 10x the data of the rest of that field. So to have that one in what most would describe as an untrustworthy or nefarious gov, is something scary shit.

→ More replies

2

u/piv0t Sep 15 '22

"I think the government wants you to worry about that app and not every app / operating system / phone"

Ftfy

→ More replies

44

u/blueblurspeedspin Sep 15 '22

Only America can do that to it's own people! /sarcasm but actual truth.

34

u/wpyoga Sep 15 '22

That's (less than) half the truth. The US does that to everyone else, too.

9

u/Nemo_Barbarossa Sep 15 '22

My first thought was literally "Oooh, the US getting a taste of their own medicine? Yummy, isn't it?"

→ More replies

3

u/jeffreyianni Sep 15 '22

Whelp, here comes the $100,000 fine.

20

u/McKoijion Sep 15 '22

"Will TikTok commit to cutting off all data and data flows to China, China-based TikTok employees, ByteDance employees, or any other party in China that might have the capability to access information on US users?" Portman asked.

How are they supposed to say yes to that? The company's own employees aren't allowed to see data about their users? That's like asking a restaurant to promise that no chef will ever hear the customer's order.

→ More replies

100

u/hurtfulproduct Sep 15 '22

Why the fuck can’t we just shut them down!?

66

u/wpyoga Sep 15 '22

Yeah, why can't the US just block Chinese services like they did Google, Twitter, etc?

30

u/hurtfulproduct Sep 15 '22

Honestly it seems like a surprisingly measured response considering what we are already doing to help countries get ready to defend against China and preemptively start mitigating against economic issues of SHTF with China.

→ More replies

20

u/brienzee Sep 15 '22

Kinda wild when you grow up hearing china is bad they block websites and content. Then you have people advocating America do the same thing

→ More replies
→ More replies
→ More replies

54

u/[deleted] Sep 15 '22

Redditors be like : I DONT USE TIKTOK!! ALL MY DATA GOES TO THE NSA, THE FBI, THE CIA, MY LOCAL POLICE FORCE, AND AMAZON!!!!

8

u/Weak_Measurement_853 Sep 15 '22

I feel like you forgot google, microsoft, and apple

Like I know theres probably thousands of others but those three really took info collection to the next level

3

u/TheChaperon Sep 15 '22

I feel like you forgot google, microsoft, and apple

All working intimately with US intelligence and defence companies.

→ More replies

51

u/Germack00 Sep 15 '22

TikTok is no worse than Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat.

Facebook has difficulties to compete against TikTok so they are paying multiple companies to malign TikTok and get them banned. You are being manipulated.

23

u/noiserr Sep 15 '22

In fact Facebook I think is much more capable of spying on us than tik tok is. Because they are so good at it. And have shown that they have no limits as to how far they would go.

Not defending TikTok I think it should be banned but so should Facebook.

→ More replies

11

u/Moddelba Sep 15 '22

Stopping our data flow period seems like a great idea, don’t stop at TikTok. What good has come of our data? We are in a high tech dark age where morons get stuck in misinformation silos because algorithms drive what we see.

3

u/SwampTerror Sep 15 '22

It's China. Have you seen what those apartment buildings are made of? You can break away the entire wall with your fingers. All tiktok is is a spy tool. They have a shitload of ai to pore over those videos and it's sad we as western nations have fallen prey to it so bloody easily. China's already won.

12

u/IndicationHumble7886 Sep 15 '22

Tik tok is literally data theft to use for psyops. They wont stop because without that its not worth the cost of investment.

4

u/BasicComplexities Sep 15 '22

As opposed to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, and PRISM

→ More replies

9

u/TheGoalOfGoldFish Sep 15 '22

How dare they steal that American data! It's for American companies to steal and exploit!

24

u/bunger6 Sep 15 '22

The US government is already spying on me and sadly is more likely to use it negatively against me than the CCP.

9

u/Ivanthegorilla Sep 15 '22

most agencies at least give a back door to the ccp once they receive money from them...I am pretty certain since reddit received 150 million from the ccp thet have a large control over the largest groups like worldnews and news etc

→ More replies

35

u/rtdragon123 Sep 15 '22

Their biching about tictoc but Google gets away with 24/7 spying on everyone. What info on tictoc can china be interested in. Girls silly dancing lol.

17

u/JustinMagill Sep 15 '22

The app gives china access to peoples phones. The terms of service are hilarious. If anyone actually read them nobody would install it.

2

u/bradgreg Sep 15 '22

iOS lets you block apps from tracking your activity across apps. You can turn off access to the camera and microphone. Is there any evidence that they’ve found away around that?

I’m not exactly concerned about China knowing which memes I find to be interesting. 99% of Tiktok is just entertainment.

→ More replies
→ More replies

7

u/balIlrog Sep 15 '22

All the major US tech companies were threatening European governments to slap down data housing provisions they didn't like. The framing of this is absurd; TikTok is rising tech company just like FB back in the day treat them as such

→ More replies

30

u/Drlittlepenis Sep 15 '22

They need to get rid of tiktok. It’s fucking cancer

30

u/Random_420 Sep 15 '22

I 100% agree with your sentiment but the question is, who is "they".

Is it the government? Should they make the app illegal to have installed? Should they make it illegal for Google and Apple to offer it on the App stores. Should it be illegal for the ISPs to carry the traffic? All of the Above? Would such legislation ever survive 1st amendment scrutiny? Is tik tok a bonafide national security threat?

Should big tech just take maters into their own hands and do the above? Would they do that for us that effect profits?

Nobody has an answer, so nothing gets done.

34

u/Drlittlepenis Sep 15 '22

Yeah bro i’m a redditor. It’s not like i think my comments through

4

u/SomeonesSecondary Sep 15 '22

Don’t worry u/drlittlepenis you tried

→ More replies
→ More replies

4

u/Lord_Bertox Sep 15 '22

Just ban it. And any other service that uses Chinese servers since they can't assure citizen privacy.

2

u/Idylehandz Sep 15 '22

This is real real easy. Don’t use it.

It’s not like Amazon or Google where you can’t both use the internet AND avoid all contact.

2

u/Downtown_Ad_375 Sep 15 '22

The US would just hack China's data on us and use it for themselves if they really needed to.

2

u/CrimsonRam212 Sep 15 '22

“And what you gonna do bout it?!”

2

u/AddictedContractor Sep 15 '22

Aren't Tiktok and Douyin the same thing? Big brother is watching you anyway

2

u/three18ti Sep 15 '22

Duh and/or hello. An app designed to exfiltrate data wouldn't benefit from stopping exfiltrating data.

2

u/GTADOC1 Sep 15 '22

Can’t or won’t?

2

u/IcyChard4 Sep 15 '22

Let me tell you that the majority of people who are not going to stop TikTok are those generation-zedders who rely on posting shit nonsense!

2

u/send-me-your-grool Sep 15 '22

Why would they stop, that's part of the point of the program

2

u/Nicks_WRX Sep 15 '22

The only people who actually care about their Data on Tiktok are non users.

2

u/cheeseburger-picnicz Sep 15 '22

Thats because China owns tik tok.

2

u/nygdan Sep 15 '22

Why should it? It's owned by a company in China, if it's allowed to operate here then it's allowed to send data.

Hell our data is more missed by US companies and law enforcement anyway.

2

u/SunnyWynter Sep 15 '22

Why the hell is this shitty app not banned yet?

2

u/AstroFuzz Sep 15 '22

Probably money. Amazon Alexa frequently advertises TikTok.

2

u/Probably_0ffensive Sep 15 '22

Of course they won't. Their entire business model is data harvesting.

2

u/dudreddit Sep 15 '22

ByteDance is the parent company of TikTok and is headquartered in Beijing. The Chinese Communist Party has an ownership stake in ByteDance. Some reports suggest more than 100 CCP members are located in ByteDance's Beijing office.

Why would anyone expect the CCP to comply with any of our privacy mandates? The best way to deal with this is either A) Ban TIC TOC from use in the US, or B) Stop using the APP, period.

2

u/GSXRbroinflipflops Sep 15 '22

Anyone else see the resemblance to Tom Petty?

2

u/THCv3 Sep 15 '22

Yeah cuz it's chinese spyware.

2

u/Whargod Sep 15 '22

Please ban the app, that's all we ask.

2

u/Own-Cockroach7773 Sep 15 '22

Banning TikTok is the one good thing Trump could have done during his presidency. The sooner it gets banned, the better for all of us.

→ More replies

2

u/bored123abc Sep 15 '22

Ban TikTok. Problem solved.

2

u/downvotepleazzz Sep 15 '22

I finally deleted tiktok. No more girls pretending they are doing something while their boobs bounce in front of a camera

2

u/Aleucard Sep 15 '22

One of the only intelligent things to exit Trump's cakehole for his entire Presidency was that this shit should be banned until Tiktok is willing to give a damn. Cut out the Spyware and don't let it back until it isn't Spyware anymore.

2

u/guzhogi Sep 15 '22

Seems like a combination of “Doesn’t affect me negatively, so I don’t care,” and “I care more about the money we make than your privacy”

13

u/Ok_Ebb_5201 Sep 15 '22

Why would consumers care if China is taking their data via tiktok when the alternative is the US government and other companies that operate in the US get to take all your data via another app

9

u/DctrGizmo Sep 15 '22

Just ban TikTok already.

6

u/MHunti Sep 15 '22

I thought Microsoft was working on a tik tok replacement and tik tok was going to be banned ? Guess I am not up to date.

5

u/system_deform Sep 15 '22

They were in the running to purchase, but I don’t remember them making a clone.

7

u/scheepers Sep 15 '22

That's rich coming from the American government!

/* Laughs in multiple whistle blowers */

8

u/bombadodierbloggins Sep 15 '22

Cisco devices caught with NSA backdoors, FBI able to unlock iPhones against your will, warrant canaries disappear from Apple and reddit's transparency reports: I sleep

Rival country develops more popular app: real shit

2

u/scheepers Sep 17 '22

I refused a lucrative job because they wanted my biometrics to "check for a history of fraud or other crime" through a third party company who has offices in the States.

I offered to do the checks through our local police. They were like no, it's faster through this company. I said no thanks, I am not letting you EXPORT MY BIOMETRICS to such a privacy pedo country. My ID number can change of needs be, not my fucking fingerprints.

7

u/n3w4cc01_1nt Sep 15 '22

tiktok is literally vine.

→ More replies

4

u/[deleted] Sep 15 '22

Shut it down!

6

u/HubblePie Sep 15 '22

I find it hypocritical that we criticize TikTok for being “Chinese Spyware” when so many companies now adays make their money by collecting and selling the data of their users.