If I’ve followed this correctly, the installation of the TikTok app will gradually be banned on all work cell phones of (Western) European government and agency employees. Attention is drawn to the obvious danger that all data that the user downloads to TikTok will sooner or later end up in Chinese hands. No small thing, but a real threat.
Technology becomes political
A short video app becomes a question of technologist nationalism. A ban on TikTok is being seriously discussed in the USA.
Now you could say that TikTok is very American, a haven of freedom of expression, entertainment, amusement – it hardly gets more American. But wait, how naive is that? What appears so harmless on the surface is actually the largest data vacuum cleaner in the world. A danger to life and limb, for the military, for companies, for prosperity. Forgot something?
It would be naïve to assume that the debate about ending TikTok will remain in the USA and thus be reduced to a matter of American-Chinese relations. Europe will be challenged, just like with SG networks and semiconductors.
I see a ban as a defeat for the free world, for the openness of the Internet. Maybe I’m not careful and not suspicious enough. It is precisely this paradox of tolerance that the philosopher Karl Popper wrote about: “It goes like this: if everyone tolerates every idea, then intolerant ideas arise. Tolerant people will tolerate that intolerance, and the intolerant will not tolerate the tolerant.”
If you want tolerance, you have to forbid intolerance, i.e. limit tolerance. And now? Ban TikTok because, at the end of the day, the promises that come with the social media service will turn out to be a fallacy, a chimera, human and data scavengery?
In fact, I’m torn. I’m not deleting TikTok now. I am not convinced that the app is an evil empire. This is based on the conviction that not the assertion, but only the proof can lead to the right action.
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I have been working in the news industry for over 10 years now and I have worked for some of the biggest news websites in the world. My focus has always been on entertainment news, but I also cover a range of other topics. I am currently an author at Global happenings and I love writing about all things pop-culture related.