TikTok: Is It a Helpful Service for Bad Actors?

August 9, 2022

Do you remember the Silicon Valley cheerleaders who said, “TikTok is no big deal. Not to worry.” Well, worry.

TikTok: Suspected Gangs Tout English Channel Migrant Crossings on Platform” states:

The Home Office [TikTok] said posts which “promote lethal crossings” were unacceptable, but there are calls for more to be done to stop people-smuggling being advertised online.

TikTok is allegedly taking the position that such criminal promotions “have no place” on the China-linked service. The BBC report includes this statement:

A spokesman for TikTok said: “This content has no place on TikTok. We do not allow content that depicts or promotes people smuggling…and have permanently banned these accounts. “We work closely with UK law enforcement and industry partners to find and remove content of this nature, and participate in the joint action plan with the National Crime Agency to help combat organized immigration crime online.”

I am skeptical about TikTok for these reasons:

  1. Data collection
  2. Analyses which permit psychological profiling so that potential “insiders” can be identified
  3. Injection of content which undermines certain social concepts; that is, weaponized information.

Net net: Delete the app and restrict access to the system. Harsh? Maybe too little too late, cheerleaders.

Stephen E Arnold, August 9, 2022

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