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TikTok Takeover!

TikTok Takeover!

Chris Campbell

Posted May 28, 2024

Chris Campbell

Stop me if you’ve heard this one:

A guy goes golfing. He promises his girlfriend he’ll be done at four. Four o’clock rolls around and the girlfriend is still waiting. Girlfriend makes a TikTok video waiting for him to come home.

Meanwhile, another girl, Elie, is scrolling through TikTok. Elie sees the video and looks at the comments. “OMG look at these comments!” she tells her boyfriend “They are roasting this guy!”

Boyfriend goes on TikTok from his own phone and checks the comments. “What do you mean?” he asks. “They are roasting the girl!”

It’s the strangest thing:

When Elie checked the comments, the top comments were berating the guy. BUT when her boyfriend checked the comments on his phone, the top comments were berating the girl.

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Of course, this could be a case of over-personalization.

If Elie and her boyfriend have different viewing habits, the algo might show them top comments based on what they find most engaging.

Whether it’s being done intentionally or not, it doesn’t matter.

People are being “trained” for polarization.

Before you misunderstand me:

This story has nothing to do with why the US is banning TikTok.

Biden’s TikTok Ban

TikTok, with its staggering user base of over 150 million Americans -- and nearly 1.85 billion users worldwide -- has already been under intense scrutiny from the US government due to national security concerns and alleged ties to the Chinese government.

One month ago, Joe Biden signed into law a bill that would ban TikTok. UNLESS its parent company ByteDance found a U.S.-based buyer.

This is reminiscent of the much-maligned attempt by the Trump administration to ban TikTok, which was blocked by federal judges.

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This happened on the heels of three key events:

→ In December 2022, ByteDance admitted its employees obtained private data from two American reporters.

→ John F. Plumb, principal cyber advisor to the secretary of defense, said that TikTok is a cybersecurity risk to the US.

→ Under Chinese law, ByteDance is forced to allow the CCP to acquire controlling stake in its company, and provide any information it wants.

Obviously, the sharks started rushing in. Several high-profile individuals and companies have expressed interest…

The race is on.

The Silver Lining

The increased scrutiny on TikTok's data practices and the potential for misuse could lead to a broader conversation about data privacy -- especially as it relates to social media and AI.

As AI becomes more integrated into social media platforms like TikTok, ensuring that these systems are transparent, unbiased, and respect user privacy will be crucial.

If ByteDance is forced to sell TikTok to a US-based company, there may be an opportunity for the new owners to implement more responsible practices.

Ideally, this would include:

→ Ensuring the AI algorithms are not biased or designed to promote polarization and conflict.

→ Providing users with greater control over their data and how it is used by the AI systems.

→ Establishing clear guidelines and oversight to prevent the misuse of user data for surveillance or manipulation.

Wishful thinking? Perhaps not.

One billionaire is making BIG moves to make this happen.

(No, it’s not Elon Musk.)

More on that -- and the crypto that could benefit -- tomorrow.

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