TikTok: Is this really a national security scare or is something else going on?

Our vultures who cover the news weigh in

Register Kettle TikTok, the made-in-China video-sharing upstart that's outshone rivals, has copped a lot of criticism of late.

Nations are one by one banning it from government-owned devices over what's said to be fears that the Middle Kingdom could order TikTok's overseers to silently poison the software to directly spy on millions or selected targets. And politicians are wringing their hands over what is an app for teenage showoffs and nauseating influencers.

There are concerns over its data-collection abilities in an age when virtually everyone has all kinds of apps on their phones that pass location data and more to ad brokers and ultimately the Feds. Rob Joyce, one of the NSA's most adept staffers, has called the app a Trojan horse in the sense that Beijing could lean on its developers to make the feed-sorting algorithms unduly influence citizens around the world.

You know, like Facebook did to its own addicts.

So, as is traditional in our weekly roundup of the news by the folks who write it, we've considered if TikTok is the threat some claim it to be, or if action against the app is really about other issues. Some of us feel there's a free speech angle, others feel it's very much a national security one. You can see for yourself in the video above.

One thing is certain, the app isn't going away easily, not with more than a billion monthly users. ®

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