Disturbing TikTok Harassment Assumes Americans Will Be Saved From Chinese Authoritarianism If US Politicians Behave Like Chinese Authoritarians

Oneonta, a town of 7,000 in Alabama, can claim a TikTok account that has 117,000 followers. Driving the city’s popularity on the wildly popular social networking site is Mayor Richard Phillips and his staff. Chinese infiltration appears. Political intrigue and all that….

Except that the interest in Oneonta and the actions of its constituents is not so much political as comic. According to Wall Street Journal’s Stu Woo, Mayor Phillips and his quirky staff are in a sense realistic versions of the characters from the fictional Pawnee, Indiana in the latest NBC sitcom Parks & Recreation. Their acts (including videos of the Mayor himself dancing in the city’s main groove) have made Oneonta and the city’s political “elites” national and seemingly international TikTok celebrities.

Some who quite rightly view the annoying harassment of TikTok by the US political class as obnoxious and un-American will read about Oneonta’s presence on TikTok only to say “I told you so. See, TikTok’s popularity is based on funny dance videos. Leave the company alone.” Wrong answer. TikTok should be left alone because Americans were born free to live their lives as they choose and have fun as they wish. Politicians should leave TikTok alone simply because it is un-American to use government force to destroy a business, it is un-American and protectionist to single out a business solely because of its origin, after which the rights of Americans to entertain themselves with the way that Desire must not be violated, period.

Taking this further, what if TikTok was filled with supposedly serious content about the wonders of communism and the brutality of capitalism? Would her horrific and utterly disgraceful treatment by America’s political class be justified then? No. There is no chance. Freedom is precious, and we cannot countenance it. If we’re, like, saying that TikTok is okay because its content is harmless, then we’re saying that sometimes it’s okay for politicians to take away our freedom and harass businesses. Except it isn’t.

After that, there are American organizations that promote communism, socialism, and practically every kind of -ism inimical to freedom and prosperity. However, we do not ban them, nor do we seek to ban them. The right to free speech is fundamental to being an American, so it is equally fundamental that free Americans should have the right to choose who can inform their free speech. In other words, if all the funny comments about TikTok being an agent of the Chinese Communist Party were actually true, and even funnier, if TikTok was a vehicle to promote state communism, it would still be terribly wrong for the politicians of the US to ban it. Americans have the right not to have the online content they enjoy censored by US politicians.

Having said all that should be obvious, it’s worth pointing out once again that TikTok is extremely popular. Big time. It’s so popular that the time Americans spend on it far exceeds the time Americans spend on Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat and other “Big Tech” brands. For that we should applaud TikTok. Its massive popularity should reassure those who fear it as a front for the Chinese Communist Party. Consider that communism has long been defined by shelves devoid of anything consumers actually want, and more offensively, a very limited supply of what consumers don’t really want. However, as time spent on TikTok once again proves, its proverbial shelves are always full and increasing with more and more products all the time. In other words, the surest sign that TikTok is not an agent of the CCP is the content that Americans can’t get enough of.

However, isn’t the problem with TikTok that it collects information about us for the CCP? The question is difficult to take seriously in itself, as it is difficult to imagine that a business that succeeded against all odds would risk the franchise for politicians. But even if it were true, what would the CCP do? Mess with algorithms and content to make us ‘communists’ If so, it’s safe to say that TikTok’s dominant days are numbered. Really, what government operation ever succeeded?

Of course, the most useful answer is to look at China the country. Even though the people had apparently been fed communist propaganda all their lives, Chinese cities are a monument to American capitalism with signs of American business everywhere. However, are we supposed to believe that the CCP will manipulate deep-seated American disdain for the US after failing so spectacularly to achieve the same with its own people? Hopefully the question answers itself.

Hopefully the TikTok harassment will also stop. It is un-American for the US political class to ban TikTok, and worse, it is contradictory. Are we supposed to be saved from Chinese authoritarianism if US politicians act like Chinese authoritarians? How about US politicians act American and just leave TikTok alone?

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