Today's discussion:

It’s time for Trudeau to stand up to TikTok

Given the extent to which Chinese political interference has been exposed in Canada in recent years, one might have expected the Justin Trudeau-led government to have spearheaded the battle against Bytedance. But then again, given the government’s pattern of downplaying and footdragging on virtually all Les Affaires Chinoise, perhaps it's not that surprising at all.

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Kim Morton

Trudeau has often said he admires the ability dicktatorships have to enforce their laws on unarmed subjects.

13th March 2024 at 9:55 am
Paul Attics

Is that truly a good faith assertion of what he has said and how often he has said it?

13th March 2024 at 10:53 am

No true, what he did say was that authoritarian rule allows for rapid changes whereas democracy takes time.

13th March 2024 at 2:10 pm

From CTV 2013

The Liberal leader said: “There’s a level of admiration I actually have for China because their basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and say, ‘We need to go green … we need to start investing in solar.’”

13th March 2024 at 3:48 pm
Michael B

Here’s a conspiracy theory for you:
Combine Justin’s pro-totalitarian China attitudes with Bill C-63 – online harms act – and you have the makings of the liberal party controlling the thoughts and voting preferences of millennials through a partnership with Tik-Tok. Haaaaa !
Then again…..

13th March 2024 at 9:06 am

““When I look at it, I’m not looking to make Facebook double the size,” Trump told CNBC. “If you ban TikTok, Facebook and others—but mostly Facebook—will be the big beneficiary.”
First these companies and then which media is next?
This would suit Poilievre just fine. He would not have to contend with non compliant media and call it security.
Instead of banning, an educated public is necessary, so put money into education. Instead of fighting sex ed in schools make sure there is a critical thinking component which teaches children about media and its uses and how to analyze what they read.

13th March 2024 at 9:03 am
Don Morris

“Given the extent to which Chinese political interference has been exposed in Canada in recent years, one might have expected the Justin Trudeau-led government to have spearheaded the battle against Bytedance. ”

Why would Justin Trudeau spearhead the battle against a company from the country he admires most in this world?
I enjoyed reading this article, but would like to know why Mr.Menzies and the rest of the msm haven’t called out Trudeau for the appointment of Judge Marie-Josee Hogue to head the inquiry on Chinese interference.

There is a clear conflict of interest, even more egregious than that of David Johnston.

13th March 2024 at 11:15 am

Hogue was the choice of the entire house.

13th March 2024 at 2:12 pm
Paul Attics

Social media companies have lots of power, both directly with the influence of their platforms and the money that they can bring to bear on political processes.

There are several key questions:
–Does any national government have, and almost certainly leverage, undue influence on the operation of a given social media company?
–For national governments that do have such influence, do the interests of said government align with our citizens?
–Are there mechanisms to ensure that the public becomes aware of such influence (unfettered journalism)?
–Are there mechanisms to hold the national government accountable (democracy, judiciary)?

For TikTok, the answers are:
Yes. China.
As such, it seems reasonable to me to prevent TikTok’s operation in Canada unless its ownership structure changes.

For perspective, India’s answers for Facebook might well be: Yes (United States), No, Yes, Yes

13th March 2024 at 11:12 am
Michael F

People are dangerously naive if they think it’s only the CCP trying to influence and or meddle in Canadian politics since WWII. Good luck trying to ban or moderate social meda platforms, the horse was out of the barn a long time ago. Whether it is the direct influence of governments or their proxies using AI, bots and troll farms, social media is awash in propaganda and misinformation. The only answer is to educate people to have better critical thinking skills, and good luck with that.

13th March 2024 at 12:43 pm
C wilson

How silly! Might as well try to ban Facebook.

13th March 2024 at 11:28 am
Xiaoming Guo

What have we said about Twitter and Facebook during the Arab Spring? Should a platform be free of government interference? TikTok has its servers in the US and the data center in Singapore. If a government can interfere with TikTok, it is only possible by the US government rather than the Chinese government. Don’t disguise commercial competition as geopolitics. We all know the PRISM operation of the NSA that controls most of the platforms.

13th March 2024 at 10:10 am