The United States Passed a Ban on TikTok. Why?

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Four years ago, Donald Trump—flexing his muscles against China—tried to ban TikTok, owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance. It didn’t take long for a judge, appointed by Trump himself, to block his executive order, calling it “arbitrary and capricious.” Around half the U.S. population uses TikTok now; entire economies live and die by the app, and it’s where millions of people, especially young people, get their news. But now TikTok is really on the brink of being banned, because of legislation that was passed by more than eighty per cent of representatives in Congress, and signed by President Biden. The app will be removed from distribution in U.S. app stores unless ByteDance sells it to some, probably American, entity. TikTok is suing to block that law. Is this a battle among tech giants for dominance, or a real issue of national security? David Remnick speaks with two experts. Jacob Helberg, a tech executive with Palantir who pushed the new law forward, calls the app “a vehicle for Chinese propaganda, and . . . for Chinese surveillance.” The journalist Katie Drummond, the global editorial director for Wired, calls the new law “a vast overreach that is rooted in hypotheticals and that is rooted in hypocrisy.” The government, Drummond thinks, refuses “to look across the broad spectrum of social-media platforms, and treat all of them from a regulatory point of view with the same level of care and precision.” Plus, we’ll find out about cooking salmon in a dishwasher, and other highlights of culinary TikTok.

Wired’s Katie Drummond: The TikTok Ban Is “a Vast Overreach, Rooted in Hypocrisy”

A prominent tech journalist sees Silicon Valley corporations making policy in Washington—and lawmakers refusing to regulate social media properly.

How a Tech Executive Lobbied Lawmakers for the TikTok Ban

In lobbying Congress to force the sale of TikTok, a Palantir executive called it a national-security threat—a digital Trojan horse controlled by the Chinese government.

Salmon in the Dishwasher? Hannah Goldfield’s Highlights of Culinary TikTok

The food writer on the joys of watching cooking—good and horrible alike—on social media.

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