Millions Of Americans Are Walking Into A Chinese-Made Trap

Authored by John Mac Ghlionn via The Epoch Times,

According to a new Pew report, a growing number of U.S. adults admit to regularly getting their news on TikTok. “This,” notes the report, “is in contrast with many other social media sites, where news consumption has either declined or stayed about the same in recent years.”

This should concern all readers who care about the United States. As this piece clearly demonstrates, TikTok is an incredibly dangerous app that is most likely being weaponized by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). More specifically, it’s being used by the CCP to further divide a country that is already dangerously divided.

The Pew report states that, since 2020, the percentage of U.S. adults who regularly get their news from TikTok “has more than quadrupled,” from 3 percent three years ago to 14 percent in 2023. Today, add the authors of the sobering report, “43% of TikTok users say they regularly get news on the site, up from 33% who said the same in 2022.”

It’s not often that journalists on both sides of the political aisle agree on a particular issue. However, with TikTok—from the New York Post to The New York TimesThe Washington Post to the Washington Examiner—everyone seems to agree that TikTok is a destructive app.

This explains why Nepal recently chose to ban TikTok, saying the platform spreads content that negatively affects “social harmony.” Nepal’s neighbor, India, has also banned TikTok—for good reason.

Earlier this year, The Guardian published a piece meticulously outlining how TikTok appears to be part of the CCP’s “cognitive warfare campaign.”

TikTok is the latest addition to the CCP’s cognitive domain of military operations. In short, the human mind is the new battlefield, and what better way to conquer it than by weaponizing an app currently used by 150 million Americans?

James Giordano, an expert in the weaponization of technology, agrees. Co-director of the O’Neill Institute-Pellegrino Center Program in Brain Science and Global Health Law and Policy at Georgetown University, Mr. Giordano told me that the CCP considers TikTok a key cog in the evolution of psychological operations (PSYOPs).

Mr. Giordano—whose research revolves around the misuse of neuroscientific techniques and technologies in medicine, public life, and military applications—believes that “both TikTok and more sophisticated forms of collective psychological intelligence/assessment and engagement will increasingly be used to leverage influence in narratives, image meanings, and contextual interpretations.”

The app’s effects on “a variety of public and personal media,” he suggests, will likely increase, especially with the presidential election—arguably America’s most significant one of the 21st century—only a year away.

Psyops, according to the expert, “constitute a defined domain of China’s ‘three [non-kinetic] warfares.’” The first domain involves the psychological evaluation of rivals’ collective cognitive patterns and beliefs. This is one of the reasons why TikTok is so dangerous. The app can be used to gauge the “temperature” of the United States’ political climate. After gauging the temperature, the second stage involves controlling various media outlets via specific psychological messaging. The final step involves the injection of pro-CCP narratives or modifications to narratives that benefit Beijing. The main aim here, Mr. Giordano says, involves the creation of “disruptive messaging and influence programs that access and affect key variables of US and Western cognition, emotions, and behaviors.”

When someone as qualified as Mr. Giordano speaks, we should listen.

After all, this is communist China we are talking about, a country that has stolen the personal data of 80 percent of American adults. It’s quite likely that TikTok is being used not just to influence Americans’ minds but also to steal their personal data.

In February this year, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) called on Apple and Google to immediately remove TikTok from their respective stores, citing national security concerns. A Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mr. Bennet wrote a strongly worded letter, asking why “Chinese Communist Party dictates should have the power to accumulate such extensive data on the American people or curate content to nearly a third of our population.” Not only did the question go unanswered, TikTok is still available on Apple’s App Store and via Google Play.

This is not okay.

In September, a Microsoft threat analysis report clearly outlined how CCP-aligned influence and disinformation campaigns are targeting both American voters and political candidates on both sides of the aisle.

The headquarters of ByteDance, the parent company of video sharing app TikTok, is seen in Beijing on Sept. 16, 2020. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)

According to the report, Beijing-affiliated “covert influence operations have now begun to successfully engage with target audiences on social media to a greater extent than previously observed.”

Considering that Chinese-owned TikTok is the most used social media app in the United States, it’s safe to assume that the CCP is focused on influencing this platform more than the likes of Instagram and Facebook.

The writing is on the wall. For some reason, too many of us refuse to read it. This has been the case for years.

In 2013, an expert on China named Dean Cheng, then affiliated with the Heritage Foundation, warned readers that the “Information Age provides unparalleled ability to influence both a nation’s leaders and its population.”

Like Mr. Giordano, Mr. Cheng insisted that “the core of the Chinese concept of psychological warfare is to manipulate those audiences by affecting their thought processes and cognitive frameworks. In doing so, Beijing hopes to be able to win future conflicts without firing a shot—victory realized through a combination of undermining opponents’ wills and inducing maximum confusion.”

Bear in mind that this warning came many years before the creation of TikTok, an app that is, cut by cut, gradually destroying the fabric of American society.


Source link