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TikTok: Candy-Coated Psychological Warfare on Kids

The thesis of “TikTok Is Worse Than You Thought” is that the do-it-yourself entertainment app is a Chinese cyberthreat. The film argues that TikTok is actively spying on its users, foreign and domestic, for the People’s Republic, intentionally shortening the western attention span, and turning potential enemies into dopamine addicts while encouraging civic and military virtues in Chinese children and teens.

That the pseudonymously produced, sitcom-length video is available on another rich seam of data — YouTube — is an irony that should not put you off seeing it and considering the claims it makes…

Now, you might not care who knows what web material you consume or how you type. Perhaps you imagine data miners are like benevolent librarians who track of your borrowings to learn your tastes and help you find new books to enjoy. However, you wouldn’t like the librarian who directed your ten-year-old children towards the Erotica section while giving her own children Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations and Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.

And according to “TikTok Is Worse Than You Thought” that is exactly what TikTok is doing. While hooking American kids on mindless trash that amuses, titillates, and corrupts them, it presents Chinese children with attractively produced propaganda promoting the thought of Xi Jinping and storylines underscoring old-fashioned civic virtues. The Art of War, by the way, is now mandatory classroom reading. Read more…

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