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TikTok versus America

Separating fact from fiction

By Arlo HenningsPublished 3 months ago Updated 3 months ago 5 min read
TikTok versus America
Photo by May Gauthier on Unsplash

The latest move for a GOP Congressman to get some limelight was to make fantastical and false claims about the mega-popular TikTok platform (150 million USA users).

"TikTok is an addictive drug China's government is providing to Americans," says the incoming chairman of a new House select committee on China, GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin told NBC's "Meet The Press.

"TikTok is digital fentanyl. It's highly addictive and destructive and we're seeing troubling data about the corrosive impact of constant social media use, particularly on young men and women here in America because it effectively goes back to the Chinese Communist Party."

That was the BS four months ago and the matter led to TikTok's CEO Shou Chew in a face-off with Congress on March 24, 2023.

Before the 5-hour Q&A began, CNN said, "Washington had already made up its mind."

Already the app is banned on some Government devices but it wasn't enough. 

Lawmakers want the app banned from America period.

Congress feels the app is not only rotting our children's minds it digs into the user's privacy.

I guess other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Twitter, and others don't do.

The problem is the anti-TikTok accusations lack proof.

What's behind the TikTok ban?

Answer: MONEY

Even though TikTok employs 7,000 Americans and their base of operations is in Los Angeles there's still an element of a Beijing spy balloon conspiracy over America's head.

TikTok is not owned by the Chinese government.

The owner ByteDance is a private, global company, nearly 60% of which is owned by global institutional investors, with the rest owned primarily by the company's founders and its employees - including thousands of Americans. - TikTok

US policymakers have cited TikTok as a potential national security risk, and critics have said ByteDance could be compelled by Chinese authorities to hand over TikTok data about US citizens or to act as a channel for malign influence operations. - CNN

Security experts have said that the data could let China identify intelligence opportunities or influence Americans through disinformation campaigns. - CNN

Once again, there is no evidence of a secret Beijing plot to overthrow America via TikTok.

I decided to try TikTok

I wasn't a user on TikTok until the writing platform VOCAL MEDIA included a link in my email that published my stories on TikTok and Instagram.

Out of curiosity I posted to TikTok and wondered how non-video content would engage.

To my surprise, the post got about a thousand views.

I also discovered many content creators using TikTok use it as a visual blog.

I tried my brand of Mr. Bean-like old man slapstick video and again I was surprised to see my clips were getting views in the thousands.

155k views (last count). Total account 400,000k views since Nov 2022.

I am on Indonesian TikTok, the second largest user base in the world (110 million), and America is first (150 million).

It's amusing to behold a 69-year-old American man trying to be entertaining in Indonesia. 

From a cultural anthropology perspective interacting through humor is a great way to communicate with a culture separated by language.

It's also a great challenge to not only be outside the age demographic but to create content that engages a foreign audience.

The only way to make big money on TikTok is primarily through sponsors and I doubt Medicare is looking for an influencer on TikTok Indonesia (LOL).

What I hate most about TikTok is not because it's the latest success story in the attention economy. It's their Community Guidelines are so strict that many of my clips got rejected.

So, as far as TikTok Indonesia hosting dangerous, pornographic, and mind control content is BS.

Indonesia which is the 2nd largest user of TikTok in the world is not going to get rid of its beloved App.

There was a case of an American teen who died trying to copy a stunt she saw on TikTok but that is rare and could happen anywhere.

Tiktok is not trying to corrupt our minds with subliminal and conspiracy-filled messages.

TikTok USA has recently tightened policy to limit age group surfing time. 

If you want to watch subliminal and conspiracy-filled messages tune into Tucker Carlson on Fox News.

What do lawmakers really want? A slice of TikTok's money.

Let's face it.

Many American users under 21 have become multi-millionaire creators and everyone from CNN talking heads to major American brands has an account or a presence on it.

Even Governments have a footprint on TikTok.

According to the 2021 Hubspot Blog Research, U.S. marketers intend to invest most of their budgets in the following social media platforms in 2022: TikTok (52% of marketers) Facebook (25% of marketers) YouTube (20% of marketers).

All social media channels have seen an increase, however, unsurprisingly TikTok takes the crown as the fastest-growing social media channel in 2022.

Of the 3,000 participants, 40% state they plan to use TikTok in 2022 as part of their social media strategy. - Mar 3, 2022, Google

Which social media platform has the highest income?

TikTok Is the Social Media Platform with the most opportunities, according to Business Owners. TikTok is the best social media platform for growing audience and revenue according to an exclusive survey of 281 online business owners. - Sep 16, 2022, Google

How much does TikTok pay?

According to Forbes, a TikToker may make between $100,000 and $250,000 for a branded video, with celebrity TikTokers earning up to $750,000 per post.

Engagement rate usually determines earnings, which measures how often people interact with your account by liking, commenting, and sharing your videos.

How much does TikTok pay per view?

The company is also paying users directly via its Creator Fund and TikTok Pulse ad program. Payouts from its fund and ad-revenue sharing range between a few cents to around $8 per 1,000 views.

Dec 9, 2022, Google

TikTok has its challenges.

Besides overzealous politicians, they have many complaints from users about being underpaid.

Until lawmakers can back any of their conspiracies with facts consider the matter a political xenophobic power grab.

TikTok is a digital phenomenon.

I don't know what opportunity TikTok holds for me, but I can suggest that you might check it out in the name of exploring other distribution channels for your content.

Hurry, it might be banned.


Other writing by Author


About the Creator

Arlo Hennings

Author 2 non-fiction books, music publisher, expat, father, cultural ambassador, PhD, MFA (Creative Writing), B.A.

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  • Babs Iverson3 months ago

    Interesting & informative!!! Great read!!!

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