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House Passes Bill That Forces Chinese Parent Company To Sell TikTok

The House of Representatives passed legislation on Wednesday that would force Chinese company ByteDance to sell TikTok in order for the social media app to be allowed to operate in the U.S.

The Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act advanced from the House Energy and Commerce Committee by a unanimous vote on March 7. The legislation, which would allow the Beijing-based company roughly five months to sell TikTok, passed with a bipartisan 352 to 65 floor vote, sending the bill to the Senate.

President Joe Biden has signaled he would sign the legislation if it clears the upper chamber.

Critics of the social media app warn of the potential national security threats of its association with the Chinese Communist Party and what they view to be harmful effects on American youth. Others argue that banning the social media app is a violation of First Amendment rights and free enterprise.

TikTok has been critical of the legislation, which it called “an outright ban” in an X statement on March 5. The social media app encouraged its children and teenaged users to call congressional offices and complain about the bill.

“This legislation will trample the First Amendment rights of 170 million Americans and deprive 5 million small businesses of a platform they rely on to grow and create jobs,” TikTok wrote.

Former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, appeared to voice opposition to the legislation despite previously attempting to ban the app. Trump’s 2020 ban faced legal challenges, and was eventually repealed by the Biden administration in 2021.

“If you get rid of TikTok, Facebook and Zuckerschmuck will double their business,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “I don’t want Facebook, who cheated in the last Election, doing better. They are a true Enemy of the People!”

Wealthy businessman Kevin O’Leary has expressed interest in purchasing the app if the legislation goes into effect.“It’s not going to get banned because I’m going to buy it,” the Shark Tank co-star told Fox News on Friday. “Somebody’s going to buy it. It won’t be Meta and it won’t be Google because a regulator will stop that. A syndicate will be formed. I would like to be involved, obviously.”

AUTHOR

MARY LOU MASTERS

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLE: TikTok Bill Clears Committee Hurdle With Unanimous Vote As China Faces App Sale Ultimatum

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


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Mutants Among Us

How do you create a generation that will believe in anything?

After Oct 7, some purple-haired genderqueer activists on TikTok have taken to reading the Koran and are pondering converting to Islam. That may seem like a leap, but once you’re a teenage girl who decides to be a boy for internet clout, changing to Islam is less difficult.

Hijabs, like dyed hair and androgynous clothes, have long become just another accessory of restless social change. Commercials that claim to relate to the youth invariably include a woman in a hijab as a progressive marker alongside a purple haired they/them, an ascetic activist type in a t-shirt and random minorities laughing together while having lattes on a college campus.

Every generation in the last 60 years has grown up with less of a sense of who it is than the previous one. The intangible sense of being an American that once came from boundless frontiers, a work ethic, a sense of fair play and meritocracy was replaced by cultural programming distributed by daily newspapers, big publishing houses and movie theaters, then television networks and colleges, and finally a massive chaotic stream of social media sewage.

American identity used to be so strong because it was internal and acquired through hard work and the character shaping experiences of life in a country with many possibilities, but it became performative for those members of newer generations with diminishing frontiers who acquired theirs from following a script written for them by the entertainment industry and radical academics. Rather than learning who they were, they copied who they thought they should be.

Social media combined with academic theories that reduced all identities to a construct unleashed a generation of mutants who mimeographed behaviors on social media. Identity became a game. And identity could be gamed for maximum advantage. Socially astute and emotionally unstable teens spread social media diseases like transgenderism or facial tics

Politics became just another cultural identity that could be cosplayed at will. Some social media influencers played far-leftists and then fascists, putting on and taking off costumes, swapping t-shirts with different slogans, Antifa shirts giving way to farm dresses and then hijabs.

On Sunday, they’re wearing pink hats, on Monday, they’re attending alt-right art shows, on Tuesday, they have their fists in the air for BLM, and on Wednesday they’re waving ‘Palestinian’ flags. “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” segueways to “From the River to the Sea.” They rarely understand any of the causes they embrace, but politics to them is just a fashion show.

It’s hard to blame the mutants. They grew up on social media where the old high school cliques are about international politics, massive lifestyle changes or castrations and mastectomies. The outfits and the posturing are about getting attention, finding a group, and a lucrative side hustle.

Social media and academia turned millions of people into living viruses whose emotional needs drive them to find weaknesses in our existing systems and ways of living. Teenage girls who might have gone goth and flirted, but not too seriously, with suicide in a previous generation announce that they’re boys and encourage impressionable younger girls to join them.

People die and have their lives ruined, but teenage fads always did that. They rarely disrupted society on this scale, and the teenagers usually moved on and grew up. But that was when there was something to grow up to and a sane world waiting out there for them. In the age of corporate affinity groups and workplace DEI, the intellectual chaos of teenage and college years extends into their adult jobs. And social media continues to incentivize the same behaviors.

The adult world with its fixed truths and serious responsibilities is less present than ever. Rather than imposing the reality that so many had expected, dismissing campus antics with, “just wait till they grow up and get jobs”, that world is a reflection of the same cultural chaos and instability. What is truth, morality, love, family, right and wrong, or even a woman, are up for grabs. And social media has become the battlefield for the endless debates about every element of reality.

The essence of ‘mutantness’ is that change has become its own identity. Radicalism exists for the sake of radicalism. The culture war was always about making leftist politics into the source of identity, but much as in Weimar Germany, this didn’t lead to dominance, just instability. What does perpetual rebellion turn into when there is nothing to rebel against? A broken society eventually slides into communism or fascism just so someone will finally end the chaos.

The ideal recruits for totalitarians are believers who can latch onto any mass movement at the drop of a dime because they desperately need something to believe in to fill the hole within. The leftist culture war has left behind generations of cultural orphans, robbed of faith, family and country, who veer between causes and identities, changing politics, religions and genders with total ease because they want to believe, yet they were born without anything to believe in.

Academic theories have taught them to see everything from the outside, not the inside. Gender, race and sexuality are mere constructs. So they become genderfluid and invent minority roots. Politics is all-consuming, but also meaningless, so they scream for the ‘current thing’. They’ve been robbed of the ability to feel so they go to extremes to try and briefly feel something.

They act out political and gender roles from the outside: they imitate because they have been made incapable of experiencing. With no identity of their own, they’re all ‘Obamas’, trained to see the culture from the outside, fitting in by sending cultural signals, gaining social clout by manipulating people on social media, and yet remaining cold and unfeeling inside.

You might say that a generation raised on social media is a generation of Obamas.

Leftist culture warfare and extremism has created a culture that no one can fit into except by mimicry and running along to keep pace with its latest shifts. The pop culture of last year is this year’s hate crime. Yesterday’s virtue is today’s vice. The best way to adapt is to just shout along. And that is how you end up with mobs chanting in support of Hamas. You could just as easily get them to rally in support of burning witches or killing all the children because most of the participants don’t understand the cause and have learned to internalize a barrage of memes and first-person emoting without feeling the reality of the cause or grasping the consequences.

Nothing is real to them except their own internal unreality and the emotional pain they feel.

Mutants are too busy running away to want to think about what they’re running to. Today’s cause will get tiring soon. It will require too much commitment and then grow stale. They will have to look at themselves in the mirror and see that they are the same people they were yesterday. And then they will find a new cause to champion and a new disguise to wear.

Today they’re transgender, tomorrow they’re Muslims. And the day after tomorrow? Maybe they’ll be Nazis. There are so many possibilities, so many shades of eyeshadow they can put on while listening to lo-fi beats derived from 1920s music: a new reinvention is just waiting for them.

This one, the next current thing, will surely work and make them feel like they matter.

The first casualty of a culture war is the culture. People who derive their identity from the culture, become mutants, changing all the time, zombies, shambling soullessly along, or grab a piece of the culture to recruit their own mutant and zombie armies to gain power.

Or they unplug from a culture gone mad and reach for the truths of their own character.

Know thyself, an old dead white man once said. That is still the only bulwark against mass cultural programming and a society gone mad. We are entering a world of knowers and mutants, those who know what they believe and those who will believe anything. Those who do and those will do anything so they never have to look themselves in the eye.

The business of a healthy society is expecting each man and woman to know themselves. Those who believe in nothing, can become anything, but those who know themselves, can become who they are and fulfill their potential. Mutants can’t change the world,  only destroy it. To change the world, a man or woman has to first deal with their greatest enemy: themselves.

The mutants are willing to do anything to avoid being themselves. They will disfigure themselves, tear down our society, or kill millions so they never have to know themselves.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Chinese Operatives Ran A Massive TikTok Campaign To Help Dems In The Midterm Elections

  • TikTok accounts operating on behalf of Chinese state media published content that criticized Republicans and favored Democrats ahead of the 2022 U.S. midterm elections, a Forbes investigation found.
  • Despite TikTok rules requiring accounts to disclose their government ties, at least three Chinese government-affiliated accounts with millions of views did not clearly describe their status to users.
  • “This opens a new dimension for conversation about TikTok,” Conor Healy, director of government research at surveillance research group IPVM, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

TikTok accounts operating as voices of Chinese state media promoted messages that appeared to denigrate Republican candidates and favor Democratic ones ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, according to a Forbes investigation.

While the Chinese-owned social media app has verbally affirmed the need to crack down on election disinformation and foreign interference, several news-oriented accounts failed to disclose their affiliation with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) state-owned media on the platform, Forbes found. The accounts racked up tens of millions views on posts that covered divisive topics, such as abortion and race, as well as critical clips that mostly targeted Republican candidates ahead of the 2022 midterms.

“This opens a new dimension for conversation about TikTok,” Conor Healy, director of government research at surveillance research group IPVM, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The accounts are managed by MediaLinks TV, which registered as a foreign agent for China with the Treasury Department in 2019 and distributes the U.S. branch of China Central Television (CCTV), CGTN, according to the company’s LinkedIn page. MediaLinks also operates the CCTV and CGTN apps, according to Apple.

The largest accounts are @Panadorama, @The…Optimist and @NewsTokss, the latter of which expressly covers U.S. national news, according to Forbes.

NewsTokss in particular ran content that overall shone Republican politicians in an unfavorable light and praised Democrats, Forbes found.

A video from July was introduced with the caption “Cruz, Abbott Don’t Care About Us,” referring to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and the state’s governor, Greg Abbott, according to Forbes. Another from October criticized Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida for having “Done Absolutely Nothing.”

Some content swayed against Democrats; one NewsTokss video in October asked viewers whether President Joe Biden’s promise to enshrine abortion rights served as a “political manipulation tactic,” Forbes found.

None of the videos clearly disclosed their ties to CGTN or the Chinese government, but the accounts’ profile bios did spell out, “Material distributed by MediaLinks TV LLC on behalf of CCTV. More info at DOJ, D.C.,” Forbes reported.

“That’s not disclosure,” Healy said. Between May 8 and July 6, NewsTokss received 8.3 million views but only 57,600 profile views, suggesting many users who watched the videos may not have realized a foreign government was pushing the content, Forbes reported.

Further, by redirecting users to the Department of Justice (DOJ), MediaLinks shrouded its status as a foreign agent.

However, such high-profile accounts should be easily identifiable as state-run, Healy argued to the DCNF.

“Either they don’t care and don’t have the protocols in place to deal with this, or they’re letting it happen,” he said.

In September, TikTok announced a new pilot policy of “mandatory verification for accounts belonging to governments, politicians, and political parties through the midterm elections” in November.

“We plan to introduce our state-controlled media policy and corresponding labels globally next year as part of our continued focus on media literacy,” a spokesperson for TikTok told Forbes.

Chinese company ByteDance owns TikTok, causing suspicion that the company takes orders or signals from the CCP and prompting politicians to call for banning the app across the federal government.

Technology and China researchers have long expressed concerns about China’s election interference via social media content; cybersecurity firm Recorded Future warned ahead of the 2018 midterm elections found Chinese-run accounts “disseminating breaking news and biased content surrounding President Trump and China-related issues.”

CGTN did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

AUTHOR

MICAELA BURROW

Reporter.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

State Lawmakers Promise ‘Repercussions’ For Doctors Performing Child Sex Changes

The State Freedom Caucus Network excoriated the American Medical Association (AMA) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in a Wednesday letter over the groups’ support for child gender transitions and their recent request that the FBI investigate journalists who are critical of the procedures.

The AMA and AAP asked the FBI to prosecute individuals spreading negative information about child gender transitions and the medical facilities that performed them in a letter that emphasized “high-profile users on social media” Monday. Republican lawmakers from seven states then pledged to end cross-sex procedures for minors and impose repercussions on practices that continue to perform them in a letter obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“With your advocacy of childhood genital mutilation, your call to investigate those who disagree with you, and your request for Big Tech to suppress constitutionally protected free speech that challenges your leftist ideology, you have lost whatever credibility you had left,” the letter read.

The State Freedom Caucus Network is a conservative organization that establishes Freedom Caucuses in state legislatures modeled after the Freedom Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives, primarily focusing on reducing government power concentrated in federal agencies.

Child gender transitions, which can involve the administering of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries, have attracted national attention in recent months due in large part to popular social media accounts highlighting publicly available information about gender-related procedures being offered at children’s hospitals. Transgender activists have accused those accounts of targeted harassment and terrorism, pointing to an alleged bomb threat at Boston Children’s Hospital after Twitter users publicized gender transition treatments being offered to children there.

“They are ultimately pushing, and deciding for, these young children to take action which will result in irrevocable and irreparable harm. This so-called ‘gender affirming care’ is both morally and ethically repugnant,” the letter read. “We will fulfill our duty to stand in the gap and stop harm to any child by unnatural and irreversible procedures. As state legislators, we are particularly charged with ensuring taxpayer-funded institutions take no part in furthering ethically and morally repugnant agendas inconsistent with the values of our states.”

State representatives from Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Nevada, South Dakota, Illinois and Arizona signed the letter.

“Collectively, and across the country, we will be pursuing a path to ensure no minors can receive these barbaric procedures,” the lawmakers wrote. “This includes calling on our governors to denounce this practice and using all available tools to end it. If proven non-compliant, these facilities will face repercussions for practices inconsistent with the values of the citizens of our states. This mutilation cannot and will not be tolerated in any form.”

The AMA and AAP did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

AUTHOR

LAUREL DUGGAN

Social and cultural reporter.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.