When countries targeted by western neo-colonialism ban social media platforms for internal security reasons, the western media often frames the issue as a matter of media freedom.
Massive propaganda narratives spin the policy as an act that restricts freedom of speech.
This perspective was largely absent from western news outlets during the recent US regime-driven attempts to shut down the Chinese social media platform TikTok.
The hype surrounding TikTok’s shut down by several NATO member countries is not surprising.
For several years, Crescent International has pointed out that as western regimes lose their hegemony globally, their behavior will begin to resemble the autocratic regimes that western powers back in other parts of the world.
Like all declining systems, western regimes will likely resort to aggression to try and maintain their global dominance.
This will impact both their internal and external policies.
The recent political and media campaign against TikTok is another manifestation of the fact that fundamental private enterprise rules and freedom of expression guidelines will now be openly disregarded in almost all western countries.
American claims that Chinese state institutions could potentially have access to TikTok’s user data are hypocritical.
Pretexts used to sideline TikTok as a social media platform in the US, Australia, and Canada also apply equally to social media companies in the west.
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a social media monitoring program, the National Operations Center (NOC), which tracks social media for potential threats to public safety and national security.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also monitors social media under the rubric of doing investigative work.
In addition, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) collect and analyze social media data for intelligence purposes.
Those who buy into western propaganda that the western ban on TikTok is solely to protect the public’s personal data should revisit the plight of Edward Snowden or Julian Assange.
Snowden revealed several NSA-run projects, such as PRISM and Upstream, which allowed the NSA to access the private communications of users of major tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.
It is clear that the American political elite want to significantly curtail TikTok in the United States.
The reason is not merely to prevent private data from falling into Chinese government hands but also eliminate competition for western tech companies.
Some people are already referring to the US Congress’ TikTok Congressional Committee as the most bipartisan in Washington today.
What will be the implications if TikTok is banned?
It will complicate and further politicize the work of western social media platforms in countries targeted by western meddling.
Other governments will now use Washington’s actions against TikTok as a precedent to take similar action against Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
On a broader canvas, it will also undermine America’s image as a business-friendly place.
Essentially, by going after a business company affiliated with China, western regimes are stating categorically that business and politics are no longer separate.
This decision will also hurt western businesses in China and beyond.