New York Times columnist Ezra Klein just said those three magic words, “Trump was right.”
In a Sunday op-ed, Klein urged the Biden administration to restrict TikTok’s ability to influence the American public due to its ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
Fox News reports:
“TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company. And Chinese companies are vulnerable to the whims and the will of the Chinese government,” Times’ columnist Ezra Klein wrote.
He added, “There is no possible ambiguity on this point: The Chinese Communist Party spent much of the last year cracking down on its tech sector. They made a particular example out of Jack Ma, the high-flying founder of Alibaba. The message was unmistakable: Chief executives will act in accordance with party wishes or see their lives upended and their companies dismembered.”
“TikTok, as we know it today, is only a few years old. But its growth is like nothing we’ve seen before. In 2021, it had more active users than Twitter, more U.S. watch minutes than YouTube, more app downloads than Facebook, more site visits than Google,” he wrote.
In 2020, then-President Trump signed an executive order to begin the process of banning TikTok. Trump’s White House warned that China is easily able to weaponize Americans’ data using the app and that the People’s Republic of China can weaponize TikTok to spread propaganda.
When Biden took office he replaced Trump’s executive order with his own but The Times’ columnist admits that Biden’s order failed to address the many ways China could weaponize the platform.
“The social media platforms that hold and shape our attention need to be governed in the public interest. That means knowing who’s truly running them and how they’re running them,” Klein wrote. “On this, Donald Trump was right, and the Biden administration should finish what he started.”