With the specter of a US ban looming, TikTok is trying to underline its worth to the US economic system, through a brand new initiative by means of which the platform will spotlight how SMBs are utilizing the app to attach with their prospects, and the neighborhood, to construct their enterprise.
The brand new ‘TikTok Sparks Good’ docu-series will share a spread of brief tales ‘that remember the various and inspirational creator success that transcend past TikTok to create actual life change’.
Which, ostensibly, celebrates these creators and the successes that they’re seeing within the app. However it’s additionally a reasonably clear automobile by means of which to doubtlessly sway to US regulators who could also be contemplating whether or not to ban the app.
And TikTok’s laying it on pretty thick:
“TikTok is a spot the place Individuals can remodel not solely their very own lives, however the lives of others. From first era kids saving their mother or father’s small companies to creators rallying the neighborhood to assist our veterans, TikTok is the place anybody can construct neighborhood, join, educate, and create financial alternative. We’re amazed by the ability of the TikTok neighborhood and the way it makes the platform a catalyst for good.”
I imply, that’s not not true, however on the identical time, TikTok has additionally been the supply of a spread of harmful trends, unfavorable psychological impacts for teens, exploitation, misinformation, and so forth.
Whether or not the platform is a internet optimistic or unfavorable shouldn’t be completely clear – whereas that query inside itself isn’t a part of the evaluation as as to whether TikTok needs to be allowed to proceed working within the US both manner.
That comes all the way down to the app’s hyperlinks to China, and the provisions with China’s cybersecurity legal guidelines which stipulate that Chinese language-owned companies should share consumer information with the CCP on request.
There’s nothing to recommend that the CCP has requested akin to but, nor that TikTok has supplied it. However the concern is that TikTok could possibly be used as a software for spying on US residents, through the use of TikTok information to trace their actions, or glean private details about customers in an effort to use that as leverage.
For probably the most half, which will appear to be a lesser concern – why would the Chinese language Authorities wish to goal individuals based mostly on their hokey TikTok clips?
However it may be an issue.
Late final yr, it was revealed that representatives from TikTok’s mother or father firm ByteDance had used TikTok information to track the movements of US journalists, in a bid to find which ByteDance staff could also be leaking information to the press.
As reported by The Financial Times:
“Over the summer time, 4 staff on the ByteDance inner audit workforce seemed into the sharing of inner info to journalists. Two members of workers within the US and two in China gained entry to the IP addresses and different private information of FT journalist Cristina Criddle, to work out if she was within the proximity of any ByteDance staff, the corporate stated.”
That is the important thing concern across the misuse of TikTok information, and on this context, the growing bans of the app on government-owned devices is sensible, as that could possibly be used as a vector to trace individuals’s actions, and monitor who they’re assembly with.
For presidency staff, who could also be in possession of delicate info, there’s a transparent threat right here. So whereas it could not appear to be a significant concern to the on a regular basis TikTok consumer who’s posting random jokes and dance clips, there’s a extra sinister factor, which could possibly be of concern, particularly amid rising tensions between China and varied different nations.
So whereas TikTok is doing all that it will possibly to spotlight its worth, it’s truly extra of an apart, and probably not related to the main focus of the broader ban discussions.
However that does appear to be the main focus right here. And whereas it’s fascinating to notice the assorted methods wherein TikTok has helped these SMBs, it appears pretty clear what the intention is on this respect.
Both manner, you’ll be able to tune into the brand new ‘TikTok Sparks Good’ tales here, which may encourage you to assist these companies, or provide you with new concepts to your personal TikTok promotion efforts.