While fringe behaviors and disingenuous technologies are being normalized faster than a university professor hosting a symposium on the discriminatory components of the table of elements, the resistance to reality grows.
The Chinese tool for personalized espionage and universal influence on a global scale, social media giant TikTok, exemplifies the apathetic indifference to a rogue state harvesting personal information and secrets in favor of gratuitous self-promotion by illustrating the disturbing addiction to selfies. Even though it is common knowledge that the social network is an insidious arm of Beijing, the platform operates at a constant viral level pumping billions of dollars into the heart and soul of the voracious dragon. Not to mention that the younger generations participate in heedless video challenges that annually result in vandalism of public property, injuries or worse. With a swipe or two, major corporations, Hollywood, the liberal media, and legions end-users have literally sold out, and the legacy of Mao is laughing in the carnage.
Researchers have discovered that political disrupters are out in full-force on TikTok in spreading lies about the war in Ukraine through a massive misinformation campaign facilitated by humans and bots. While the heavy presence of subversive content is not shocking, the scale at which the fake news is generated is staggering when compared to the magnitude of the 2016 and 2020 elections combined across F***book and Twitter. Disturbingly, a team of digital experts at public watchdog group NewsGuard found that algorithms coded within the substance of popular video sharing community is pushing end-users towards sources of blatant propaganda in falsifying what is happening in the nation under siege by Russian military forces. Exactly what China’s agenda is in the conflicted theater is not readily discernable, but the regime’s complex and arduous relationship with Russia in sharing a border has only intensified as the People’s Liberation army has modernized to a viable threat.
While the traditional rivalry spurred by the strained collaboration between Mao and Stalin onset of the Cold War remains nuanced, layered, and prone to speculation and oversimplification by reactionaries, the scrimmage by TikTok in preparing to assault the periphery of the critical midterm elections is in the short-term an indication of the bad blood between the two superpowers. Only exacerbating the widespread disconnect with the truth surrounding international diplomacy is the naivety driving individuals in free society to recklessly frequent a known malevolent domain and all for the sake of satisfying the need for instant gratification.
As more Americans and those in the first world migrate from traditional mediums to multiple sources in compiling snippets of data and information to compile a customized world view, the daunting amount of streaming media on TikTok crossing the 30 billion views threshold relating to the Ukraine conflict displays just how prone the average consumer is to illegitimate claims, packaged and sold in the absence of substance with high quality production values consisting of eloquent and compelling pixilation. A significant casualty of the information age has been the base concept of physical matter, and with imagination bonding with the glittering motif capture by the screens of devices, streaming video and audio files have attained tangible value. This phenomenon is apparent with the evolution of the Non Fungible Tokens assigned with financial value, as the immersion of experience registered by at least three senses has been transformed into a commodity.
With personality and ego extended like a phantom limb of the brain interfaced with the experience of social network, humans both good and bad realize that behavior modification and coercion is no longer bound to the physical universe, now that manifestation of existence itself and awareness is being shifted to the convenience, or rather servitude to a device. While a powerful tool acting as a slave master is troublingly fascinating, the onus is still on those at the height of the information custodial pecking order in giving account holders useful hints in personally distinguishing fact from the multitude of myths that are an expected deterrent in an ecosystem that was supposed to be unregulated and a proxy environment for the celebration of free will. Instead, the leadership has allowed politics to tarnish an ingenuitive idea with a mind-numbing and constantly expanding phone book sized volumes of “terms and conditions”. Similar to those with the oblivious belief that increased gun restrictions will reduce violence in magically ignoring that criminals do not follow the rules, the digital policy makers continually suppress those adhering to the guidelines, while “forgetting” that militantly incited forces simply create as much havoc as possible. This is extremely infuriating when the shell company of a wildly revered platform engages in questionable behavior in a hands on approach to reeducation and deceit.
While the pandemic of gullibility rages on, and the 15-second attention span dictates the flow of information, the intentional actions of the Chinese to run an interference campaign augmenting the narrative surrounding the Ukraine crises is a prelude of the forthcoming malaise coming to all locations in November. As hobbyists welcomed drones manufactured by the Communist realm with open arms in providing an avenue for remote surveillance, the disturbing enthusiasm for the farce that TikTok plants another trojan horse for espionage in the center of the US that is branded as an open source for content. With society well past the point of return, maybe the future leaders of the free world can participate in the ultimate video challenge of surrendering to China through a feast of Tide Pods and mousetraps on the toes.