How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the TikTok


I always hated TikTok.  Not that it is a Chinese controlled company, or that I believe that they are “distributing misinformation”, or they provide a bad product.  Quite frankly I find TikTok engaging, entertaining, and, if you follow the right people (like The Ops Desk), informative.

The simple and mundane reason I didn’t like the app is that I can’t keep my kids off it.  I have teenagers and they live on the app, using hours of their allotted screen time to watch cat videos, hockey highlights, juvenile pranks, teenage dancers, etc.  I’m not sure these kids even know how to read.  We have numerous arguments over TikTok.

It would make my life easier if TikTok went the way of the dodo.  I would be happy to see it go if only for a few moments of domestic tranquility until whatever app comes next takes my kids back to fantasy land. 

But to outlaw TikTok; that is a big step.  Personally, I haven’t seen anything that makes me believe it is any worse than other similar apps.  But I’m not an expert.  And I have my doubts that the members of Congress are experts either(at anything).  Yet they came out guns blazing to force the sale of the app. It seemed like an extreme, and probably unpopular, law for the increasingly timid members of Congress to approve.  Yet it flew through the House of Representatives.   I was surprised and wondered about the repercussions this law might have on our relations with China.

After listening and reading to outlets like Racket News (Matt Taibbi) and System Update (Glenn Greenwald) a new concern emerged.  What are the domestic repercussions of this bill?  How does it affect freedom of speech?  I pulled up the bill and gave it a read. 

As I read, I was looking for the unintended consequences.  The more I read, it dawned on me that the consequences might not be so unintended.  This might sound a bit conspiratorial but hear me out. 

This bill gives the President of the United States the power to determine which social media or similar companies are under the control of a “foreign adversary” and “present a significant threat to the national security of the United States.”  The President can then force their sale or removal from our country. 

The devil lies in the definitions;

A person “subject to the direction or control of a foreign person.”  HMMM… That sounds familiar.  Wasn’t Joe Biden and many media outlets telling us not too long ago that Donald Trump was under the direction and control of none other than foreign adversary Vladimir Putin?  And doesn’t Donald Trump own and control a social media company, Truth Social?

Now there are a few Trump haters reading this that are shaking with uncontrolled delight at the prospect of President Biden terminating Truth Social with extreme prejudice.  But you know who might be President in less than a year, Le Grande Orange (sorry Rusty Staub) himself, Donald Trump.  And what is good for the goose is good for the gander, as they say.  Do you want either Joe Biden or Donald Trump making this kind of decision for us all?

The bill to eliminate TikTok seems like it is good for nothing.  More government overreach and more unchecked power for the President.  Unless a clearer case is made of its danger, we encourage you to contact your Senators and tell them to vote this bill down.  We will just have to learn to love TikTok for the greater good. 

Thanks for reading The Ops Desk. Stay Safe!


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