There’s no need to ban TikTok or make ByteDance divest

Source: Washington Post
by Megan McArdle

“It’s always wise to be skeptical when people demand that the government be given sweeping new powers to correct ‘misinformation,’ ‘disinformation’ or bad social media moderation policies. They’re often engaging in ideological special pleading and ignoring equally troubling disinformation from their own side. And too often, they’re wrong. Remember when Twitter decided that Hunter Biden’s laptop was disinformation, and banned even news stories that mentioned it? One should be doubly suspicious when complaints about disinformation veer into McCarthyist territory — attaching legitimate foreign policy concerns to wild speculation about brainwashing of the U.S. electorate. Such theories deserve harsh scrutiny whether they involve Russian bots, or Chinese control of TikTok. … the House Un-American Activities Committee wasn’t wrong about communism, it was wrong about Americans, in the same way that the TikTok panickers are wrong today. We are not so easily brainwashed or subverted.” (11/15/23)