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TikTok Gives Americans a Taste of Communism

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The popular video app TikTok is facing increased scrutiny due to its connections with the Chinese government.

The Washington Post reported on the app’s rise, which “was largely shaped by its Beijing-based parent company, which imposed strict rules on what could appear on the app in keeping with China’s restrictive view of acceptable speech.”

Complying with those roles often created conflict within the organization, according to accounts from U.S. employees.

The Post highlighted this:

American workers, accustomed to unrestrained expression online, bristled at commands to restrict videos that Beijing-based teams had deemed subversive or controversial, including heavy kissing, heated debates and the kinds of political discussions seen widely across the Web.

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TikTok claims that its American operations don’t clamp down on political content or “take instructions from its parent company, the Chinese tech giant ByteDance.”

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However, former U.S. employees said moderators in Beijing had the final say on which videos were approved. Former employees claimed that their attempts to convince Chinese teams to not block or penalize certain videos were repeatedly ignored. This was done out of fear of the Chinese government cracking down on the company and its staff.

Certain lawmakers like Missouri Senator Josh Hawley took TikTok to task for its connections to China and its unwillingness to answer major questions on Capitol Hill after the company refused to testify during a congressional hearing on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

“TikTok claims they don’t take direction from China. They claim they don’t censor. . . But that’s not what former employees of TikTok say,” said Hawley, referencing The Post’s report.

BLP previously reported on speculation of TikTok’s connections to the Chinese Communist Party and how it potentially poses a threat to Americans’ privacy rights.

While China discarded some of its most destructive economic policies in the 1980s, it still remains authoritarian politically. Even its economic growth has allowed politically-connected companies to project both economic and political power abroad.

In the near future, China and its corporate surrogates will likely pose major threats to U.S. interests and the basic civil liberties of millions of Americans who do business with these companies or use their technology.

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Texas Political Establishment Attempts to Derail Shelley Luther’s Campaign

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The special election for Texas’ Senate District 30 is on pace to be one of the most heated races in the Lone Star State.

At a candidate forum on September 18, 2020, Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was jailed for opening her business in defiance of Governor Greg Abbott’s shutdown order, confronted outgoing State Senator Pat Fallon.

Fallon vacated his seat and is now backing a successor in State Representative Drew Springer.

“We don’t want somebody who’s going to be at odds with our Republican governor,” Fallon said September 18 at the Grayson County Republican Women’s Club.

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Fallon added:

I didn’t support some of the things that he has done about opening up. … So, he’s made some mistakes. He’s our Republican governor, the 80/20 rule … because you’re not going to get any bills passed unless the governor signs them.

“Let me make something clear. I am accountable to my fellow citizens in Senate District 30. Not our Governor,” Luther responded on September 19 on Facebook:

This is exactly what is wrong with Austin. Our politicians are more loyal to Abbott than us, even when they disagree with him.

I will work with Governor Abbott when he is fighting to protect the liberty of Texans, and I will oppose him when he pushes unilateral dictates that shut down our local businesses.

Fallon and Luther had a tense exchange, which was caught on video.

“You want me to go all in on this race?” Fallon questioned Luther. “I have been 5 percent in on this race. You want me to go all in on it, I’m welcome to.”

“This has become a straight-up fight between Abbott and the ‘Kumbaya’ Professional Political Class vs. the grassroots and people who remember what limited government and principles should look like,” opined conservative activist Mike Openshaw.

“Respectfully, being willing to be jailed for fighting over-reaching government shows principle; that counts for something, Patrick,” Openshaw continued.

Luther has recently received endorsements from conservative Collin County Judge Chris Hill and Young Conservatives of Texas. Springer, on the other hand, received an endorsement from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which asserted that Luther was going down a “far right” path.

A Republican is expected to carry the senate district, which may still require a runoff if the leading candidate does not get enough votes during the first round of the special election.

Election Day will be on September 29.

Luther is viewed as the truly conservative option and many believe she could help break the political status quo in Austin that has kept conservative legislation from ever being passed.

 

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