With the specter of a US ban looming, TikTok is trying to underline its worth to the US financial system, by way of a brand new initiative by way of which the platform will spotlight how SMBs are utilizing the app to attach with their clients, 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 varied 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. But it surely’s additionally a reasonably clear automobile by way 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 People can rework not solely their very own lives, however the lives of others. From first era kids saving their dad or mum’s small companies to creators rallying the neighborhood to help our veterans, TikTok is the place anybody can construct neighborhood, join, educate, and create financial alternative. We’re amazed by the facility 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, adverse psychological impacts for teens, exploitation, misinformation, and so forth.
Whether or not the platform is a web optimistic or adverse just isn’t solely clear – whereas that query inside itself isn’t a part of the evaluation as as to if TikTok ought to be allowed to proceed working within the US both manner.
That comes right 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 person information with the CCP on request.
There’s nothing to counsel that the CCP has requested equivalent to but, nor that TikTok has offered it. However the concern is that TikTok might be used as a software for spying on US residents, by utilizing TikTok information to trace their actions, or glean private details about customers as a way to use that as leverage.
For probably the most half, that will appear to be a lesser concern – why would the Chinese language Authorities wish to goal folks primarily based on their hokey TikTok clips?
However it may be an issue.
Late final yr, it was revealed that representatives from TikTok’s dad or mum firm ByteDance had used TikTok information to trace the actions of US journalists, in a bid to find which ByteDance workers could also be leaking data to the press.
As reported by The Financial Times:
“Over the summer time, 4 workers on the ByteDance inner audit group regarded into the sharing of inner info to journalists. Two members of employees 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 workers, the corporate mentioned.”
That is the important thing concern across the misuse of TikTok information, and on this context, the rising bans of the app on government-owned gadgets is sensible, as that might be used as a vector to trace folks’s actions, and monitor who they’re assembly with.
For presidency workers, who could also be in possession of delicate info, there’s a transparent threat right here. So whereas it might not appear to be a significant concern to the on a regular basis TikTok person who’s posting random jokes and dance clips, there’s a extra sinister ingredient, which might be of concern, particularly amid rising tensions between China and varied different nations.
So whereas TikTok is doing all that it will probably to focus on its worth, it’s really extra of an apart, and probably not related to the main target of the broader ban discussions.
However that does appear to be the main target right here. And whereas it’s attention-grabbing 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 may tune into the brand new ‘TikTok Sparks Good’ tales here, which may encourage you to help these companies, or provide you with new concepts in your personal TikTok promotion efforts.