Chinese Agents Carried Out Large TikTok Campaign to Help Elect Democrats During Midterms
According to an investigation conducted by Forbes, TikTok accounts functioning as mouthpieces of Chinese state media promoted messages that apparently cast Republicans in a negative light while portraying Democrats favorably in the lead up to the 2022 midterm elections.
Although TikTok has said that it will need to clamp down on accounts promoting foreign interference and election disinformation, various media accounts did not disclose their connections to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) state-owned media on the platform. These accounts were able to pick up tens of millions views on posts that covered hot button issues, such as abortion and race, in addition to sensitive clips that primarily depicted Republican candidates in a negative light prior to the 2022 midterms.
“This opens a new dimension for conversation about TikTok,” Conor Healy, the director of government research at surveillance research group IPVM, said to the Daily Caller.
MediaLinks TV managed the accounts, which registered with the Treasury Department as a foreign agent for China in 2019. It also distributes the US branch of China Central Television (CCTV), CGTN, per the company’s LinkedIn page. According to Apple, MediaLinks also runs the CCTV and CGTN apps.
Forbes reported that NewsTokss specifically put forward content that painted Republican politicians in a negative light and gave Democrats positive coverage, Forbes found.
Micaela Burrow of the Daily Caller outlined some of the videos that the CCL affiliated accounts promoted:
A video from July was introduced with the caption “Cruz, Abbott Don’t Care About Us,” referring to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and the state’s governor, Greg Abbott, according to Forbes. Another from October criticized Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida for having “Done Absolutely Nothing.”
None of the videos blatantly revealed their connections to CGTN or the Chinese state, but the accounts’ profile bios have the following information:
Material distributed by MediaLinks TV LLC on behalf of CCTV. More info at DOJ, D.C..
The CCP does have an interest in propping up several Democratic candidates and incumbents given the party’s pro-globalist proclivities. There are still many liberals who want to maintain the Chimerica order of yore, where China would serve as the manufacturing hub that would provide Americans cheap goods at the expense of the country’s industrial sector.
That economic model has fundamentally transformed in recent years, in large part due to the Wuhan virus pandemic and the economic shockwaves caused by governments’ response to it.
The CCP’s ability to use technology to exploit holes in American politics should serve as a reminder as to why the US must economically decouple from China and restrict immigration from there.