Prominent Gamer Ninja Dumps TikTok Due to Mass Surveillance Concerns

On July 9, 2020, prominent gamer YouTuber Tyler “Ninja” Blevins announced that he deleted the Chinese-based app TikTok due to his concerns regarding the app’s privacy practices.

“I have deleted the TikTok app off all my devices. Hopefully a less intrusive company (data farming) that isn’t owned by China can recreate the concept legally, such funny and amazing content on the app from influencers,” Ninja announced to his 6 million followers on Twitter.

This latest rejection of TikTok by Ninja represents a growing disillusionment with the app due to increased scrutiny over its privacy practices.

It previously experienced considerable growth in the last two years — where it reached 1 billion users,

The social network has positioned itself through its short videos.

It is owned by the Beijing-based tech company ByteDance and has been mired by privacy issues. Some are even questioning its relationship to the Chinese government and raising speculation about the Chinese government having access to user data.

The company has denied any connections to the Chinese government and asserts that its data is secure.

After a deadly encounter with Chinese forces on its border, India’s government banned TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps.

Even Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a Fox News interview that the U.S. government is potentially “looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, especially TikTok. “With respect to Chinese apps on people’s cellphones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right too,” Pompeo said during an interview on July 6’s episode of Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle.

Pompeo continued by saying that people should only download TikTok “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

The rise of China has made people in the U.S. question its relationship with the East Asian nation.

Although its growth story in the last three decades has been awe-inspiring, China has not fundamentally changed in its authoritarian ambitions.

In fact, many of its aims often collide with American interests.  For that reason, America must socially distance itself from China and pursue policies that allow for reasonable growth while protecting national interests.