Armstrong Economics Blog/Censorship Re-Posted Mar 29, 2023 by Martin Armstrong
China banned Facebook in 2009, instantaneously eliminating 700 million users from the platform. Mark Zuckerberg was unwilling to give up a piece of his social media empire without a fight. Zuckerberg actually learned to speak Mandarin and toured mainland China, delivering speeches in their native tongue and attempting to align himself with the Chinese.
There was a popular app called Musical.ly with content reminiscent of the original version of TikTok, and Zuckerberg wanted to incorporate that platform into his empire. After 14 months of tough negotiations, ByteDance outbid Zuckerberg for Musical.ly to the tune of $800 million, and that app later merged with the TikTok we have in the US today.
“Until recently, the internet in almost every country outside China has been defined by American platforms with strong free expression values. There’s no guarantee these values will win out,” Zuckerberg said in a speech at Georgetown University. “While our services, like WhatsApp, are used by protesters and activists everywhere due to strong encryption and privacy protections, on TikTok, the Chinese app growing quickly around the world, mentions of these protests are censored, even in the US.”
Ironically, the feeling is mutual as China has always feared the US collecting its personal data. Zuckerberg mentioned his apps offer “strong free expression values,” but we have seen that lie explode numerous times over. He worked with the FBI to hide damning evidence against Joe Biden before his presidential campaign, de-platformed a sitting president, and wiped out hundreds if not thousands of users from the platform during the pandemic for spreading “fake news.” Zuckerberg used “fact-checkers” to ensure his version of the truth was promoted while silencing everything else. He appeased the NWO by promoting COVID-19 regulations and “the science.”
Facebook attempted to release a service similar to TikTok called Reels but failed miserably. Once he realized he could not reach China, Zuckerberg turned his attention toward banning his competitor entirely. Zuckerberg’s lobbying efforts temporarily paid off when Donald Trump signed an executive order to ban TikTok in 2020, primarily to show he was tough on China. TikTok then had an opportunity to be acquired by a US entity to avoid a ban, and Zuckerberg hoped his company would win. Around this time, US lawmakers were considering breaking up the Zuckerberg social media empire for having too much influence. This was when the propaganda against TikTok went into overdrive. He met with countless US senators and politicians to personally push his agenda.
Facebook was caught running a smear campaign against Google. In 2018, Facebook hired PR firm Definers to dig up dirt on its critics, including George Soros. They pinned that debacle on one employee and forced him to resign. Turning its sights to TikTok, the company hired a Republican consulting firm called Targeted Victory to “orchestrate a nationwide campaign” against TikTok. They hired unethical journalists to print op-eds bashing TikTok.
Meta was the largest internet lobbyist last year after spending over $20 million to sway US lawmakers. Zuckerberg hopes that his competition can be eliminated to remain the king of social media. However, the public is not rushing back to Instagram, Meta, or Facebook. In fact, people have begun deleting their accounts on those platforms to show that they will not return in the event of a TikTok ban.
Why do people love TikTok? Free speech. Political ads are banned on the platform but people may speak freely about any topic of their choosing, so long as it does not break obvious laws. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, something sinister is usually at play when both political parties unanimously agree. Zuckerberg is more than willing to hand over all the data he collects to the US government on a silver platter. The US wants to monopolize your data and control the content you view. They cannot break into the TikTok database as easily and that is the main driving factor behind the proposed ban.