Author Topic: 'The Tiktok war' by Ben Thomspon  (Read 1323 times)

DooDiligence

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Re: 'The Tiktok war' by Ben Thomspon
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2020, 07:03:22 AM »
Manufacturing Consent - the 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine

https://youtu.be/34LGPIXvU5M

edit: I used to spend 3 months at a time on a boat in W. Africa & would be starved for television when crew change rolled around. One time, I got to the hotel in Takoradi, and I remember turning on the BBC & hearing that wonderfully familiar theme music that any traveler will readily recognize. I watched for a bit & then started channel surfing & came across Al Jazeera for the 1st time & was astounded by how similar their reporting was to the same headline stories I'd just watched on BBC. The major exception was when they reported on "the Zionist State" & never once called it Israel. IDK if they are considered reputable by qualified sources & I've only caught it a few times since.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2020, 07:09:42 AM by DooDiligence »
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mcliu

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Re: 'The Tiktok war' by Ben Thomspon
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2020, 08:40:24 AM »
I have an issue with Ben's suggestion to ban TikTok that is based (partially) on the claim that nobody knows TikTok's algorithm and that this algorithm can be tweaked to promote Chinese propaganda and censor info that is negative about CCP.

Fact is: nobody knows algorithm of any Western or non-Western social network, news service or app either. So Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Fox News, CNN, Al Jazeera, RT, NYT, Breitbart, etc. can all promote whatever propaganda they want and censor info that they want. IMO banning TikTok is problematic for a number of reasons: 1. There are IMO way worse actors that are not banned. 2. It is a knee-jerk reaction against China. 3. Yes, this would make Western world look like China. And because of reasons 1 and 2, it would look like China is being singled out, when other bad (worse) actors get to continue operating 4. It would continue on the pretty slippery road of precedents of what is allowed/banned/controlled whether China-based or not. There's already questionable road and decisions of what Facebook/Twitter should show/ban/control/etc. both based on politics and on business demands. Banning TikTok would just add to that mess of contradictory demands and controls.

IMO, the more realistic and limited solution is to prevent TikTok from phoning home (slurping the data to China). This clearly can be done within GDPR+similar US laws. This does not prevent propaganda and censorship, but prevents info gathering. And IMO this is likely a bigger threat and also a threat that is easier to handle.

I disagree. I think he makes his case well that there's a big difference between these players and their relationships to the governments that have jurisdiction over them and what the laws and culture of these countries are.

So you would also ban RT, Al Jazeera, and what else? News service of every government you don't like?
And when Trump does not like Germany anymore, would you also ban all German news services?

Is TikTok just a news service? Doesn't it also collect information?

Liberty

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Re: 'The Tiktok war' by Ben Thomspon
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2020, 08:59:40 AM »
There is another point: so you want to ban TikTok app. What if TikTok provides web-based interface? Will you implement Chinese Firewall to prevent people accessing TikTok via web? And once you do, where does that stop?

If the idea is not to have an illiberal totalitarian regime with explicit laws that allow it to control it control one of the dominant social apps around the world (as they do with Wechat inside China), then I don't think you need to block more than the app, because there's no chance it would stay as popular and grow as fast without an app.

Jurgis

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Re: 'The Tiktok war' by Ben Thomspon
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2020, 09:03:28 AM »
I have an issue with Ben's suggestion to ban TikTok that is based (partially) on the claim that nobody knows TikTok's algorithm and that this algorithm can be tweaked to promote Chinese propaganda and censor info that is negative about CCP.

Fact is: nobody knows algorithm of any Western or non-Western social network, news service or app either. So Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Fox News, CNN, Al Jazeera, RT, NYT, Breitbart, etc. can all promote whatever propaganda they want and censor info that they want. IMO banning TikTok is problematic for a number of reasons: 1. There are IMO way worse actors that are not banned. 2. It is a knee-jerk reaction against China. 3. Yes, this would make Western world look like China. And because of reasons 1 and 2, it would look like China is being singled out, when other bad (worse) actors get to continue operating 4. It would continue on the pretty slippery road of precedents of what is allowed/banned/controlled whether China-based or not. There's already questionable road and decisions of what Facebook/Twitter should show/ban/control/etc. both based on politics and on business demands. Banning TikTok would just add to that mess of contradictory demands and controls.

IMO, the more realistic and limited solution is to prevent TikTok from phoning home (slurping the data to China). This clearly can be done within GDPR+similar US laws. This does not prevent propaganda and censorship, but prevents info gathering. And IMO this is likely a bigger threat and also a threat that is easier to handle.

I disagree. I think he makes his case well that there's a big difference between these players and their relationships to the governments that have jurisdiction over them and what the laws and culture of these countries are.

So you would also ban RT, Al Jazeera, and what else? News service of every government you don't like?
And when Trump does not like Germany anymore, would you also ban all German news services?

Is TikTok just a news service? Doesn't it also collect information?

I addressed the "collect information" part above in this thread. Yes, this is an issue and should be dealt with.
Also every news service collects information.
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Liberty

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Re: 'The Tiktok war' by Ben Thomspon
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2020, 09:04:20 AM »
So you would also ban RT, Al Jazeera, and what else? News service of every government you don't like?
And when Trump does not like Germany anymore, would you also ban all German news services?

No. It's a false equivalency you're making.

But if Facebook was owned and controlled by Vladimir Putin, I don't think it would be wise for the rest of the world to be on the platform either. Difference between a news outlet and a social platform that acts as a lens through which people see the online world (and increasingly, the online world matters more to people's thoughts than the offline).

If Google was a Chinese company, I'd trust the search results a lot less than I do now, especially on anything having to do with Chinese news, history, democracy, communism, etc.

I don't think US corporations or scientists should conduct communications on Wechat either.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2020, 09:09:00 AM by Liberty »

Jurgis

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Re: 'The Tiktok war' by Ben Thomspon
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2020, 09:16:51 AM »
So you would also ban RT, Al Jazeera, and what else? News service of every government you don't like?
And when Trump does not like Germany anymore, would you also ban all German news services?

No. It's a false equivalency you're making.

But if Facebook was owned and controlled by Vladimir Putin, I don't think it would be wise for the rest of the world to be on the platform either. Difference between a news outlet and a social platform that acts as a lens through which people see the online world (and increasingly, the online world matters more to people's thoughts than the offline).

If Google was a Chinese company, I'd trust the search results a lot less than I do now, especially on anything having to do with Chinese news, history, democracy, communism, etc.

I don't think US corporations or scientists should conduct communications on Wechat either.

I disagree that it's false equivalency.

I'm gonna predict that:
- TikTok won't be banned
- If it's banned, it's gonna be based on some user privacy (data slurping) violation claim and not based on CCP control over the algorithm.

Good luck.
"Human civilization? It might be a good idea." - Not Gandhi
"Before you can be rich, you must be poor." - Nef Anyo
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Borgesian

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Re: 'The Tiktok war' by Ben Thomspon
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2020, 02:47:52 AM »
"If it's banned, it's gonna be based on some user privacy (data slurping) violation claim and not based on CCP control over the algorithm."

They may publicly say it's the former, but everyone knows it's about the latter and the amount of control the CCP has over any data that is collected by a Chinese company.

Packer16

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Re: 'The Tiktok war' by Ben Thomspon
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2020, 05:29:44 AM »
IMO Ben’s piece is bigger that TIK-TOK & goes to the China’s stated & for the most part dismissed in the West goal of world domination via the CCP’s control of information (a 21st century 1984).  To do this they have enlisted capitalism to generate the wealth required for such a vision. Very few have questioned this goal & have acted as willing participants by creating funding for this on an uneven trading system. IMO this is a 21st century war just as real as the Cold War was in 20th Century. This is going to require a mind-set change to effectively fight this war. You see the results in HK and with the Uigers & you may see it in the future in Taiwan & any place that does trade with China. COVID may also be a part of this strategy. We will see how many more viruses appear from China. Some may say this is conspiracy theory but looked at through the lense of a regime trying to gain worldwide legitimacy for its autocratic system it is not far fetched.  The disruptive idea of freedom & democracy is clashing with ancient idea of autocracy here.

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