Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has a complicated relationship with TikTok -- continually complaining it's being "censored" (read: it repeatedly failed to comply with a private company's terms of service) while also attacking TikTok for its alleged affiliation with the "Chinese Communist Party" -- attacks that were secretly fed to it by TikTok competitor Facebook, something the MRC has yet to fess up to. The attacks -- and the victimhood -- have continued since the last time we checked in.
A July 21 post by Catherine Salgado hyped a poll claiming that "More than half of Americans want app stores to remove TikTok following revelations that Chinese employees can directly access U.S. user data." Hyping that China is a threat through TikTok is a keypart of Facebook's attack line, which it laundered through a right-wing consulting firm called Targeted Victory. Salgado followed that with a July 27 post promoting right-wing podcaster (and benificiary of previous MRC defenses) Joe Rogan ranting that doing anything on TikTok "ends with China having all of your data."
Then it was victimhood time, and it took both Joseph Vazquez and Gabriela Pariseau to fully complain about it in an Aug. 1 post:
The Chinese Communist Party-tied TikTok reached the climax of its lengthy battle with the Media Research Center’s video division by entirely axing it from the platform without notice.
An MRCTV staff member opened the TikTok App to find that the account was “banned” — again — but not before the platform removed five more videos.
TikTok’s latest censor blitz came just three weeks after the platform permanently banned MRCTV on May 26. TikTok reduced the initial sentence from a permanent ban to a weeklong suspension, but one week after the suspension ended, the Chinese-Communist Party-tied platform removed MRCTV. Between Aug. 25, 2021 and June 15, 2022, TikTok censored MRCTV a total of 45 times. Forty-two of those cases were in 2022 alone. When the platform banned MRCTV the second time, the account had amassed over 79,000 followers.
The platform most recently restricted MRCTV from posting any new content and didn’t respond to MRC’s eight attempts to appeal or request comment. Instead of answering MRC’s inquiries, TikTok just decided to nuke the account.
Apparently, getting caught violating TikTok's terms of service 45 times and repeating using the MRC platforms to attack TikTok wasn't sufficient justification. No proviate business is oblifgated to serve every single customer, especially after they repeatedly violate the rules and loudly complain about it. Interestingly, Vazquez and Pariseau did not explain why the MRC is entitled to abuse upon the private property of others and just simply go elsewhere that they're not "censored"; instead, they whined that "TikTok is apparently easily triggered by conservative content that doesn’t serve the propaganda of its communist overlords." They provideno evidence for their accusation that TikTok's "communist overlords" specifically demanded that MRCTV be platformed -- that just a figment of their lively, partisan imagination.
They did cite a couple videos that were posted at MRCTV's TikTok account before it was suspended. One was of Brittany Hughes spewing at drag queens, and another was of Nick Kangadis creepily "talking about straight pride and his favorite things about being a straight white male.
Despite having repeatedly been shown that TikTok doesn't want policy-breakers around, the MRC continued to harass TikTok (with still no mention of getting fed attack lines by Facebook. An Aug. 15 post by Jeffrey Clark promoted a Forbes report that "Over 300 employees at TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, previously worked for Communist Chinese state media publications"; surprisingly, Clark obtained comment from TikTok's owner, ByteDance, which denied it. This being the MRC, Clark went on to claim "that statement appears to contradict a search by MRC Business that uncovered at least seven individuals on LinkedIn that claim to be current employees of ByteDance or TikTok while also claiming to have previously worked at Chinese state media outlets or companies."
The next day, Vazquez melted down -- complete with lots of scare quotes and uses "so-called" -- over the New York Times highlighting election misinformation on TikTok:
The New York Times is having another meltdown over so-called “election misinformation” on social media and trying to pressure Big Tech companies to up their already bloated censorship operations.
Times technology reporter Tiffany Hsu screeched in an Aug. 14 story< headlined: “On TikTok, Election Misinformation Thrives Ahead of Midterms.” Hsu mourned that the Chinese Communist Party-tied platform’s “poor track record during recent voting abroad does not bode well for elections in the U.S., researchers said.” In fact, fretted Hsu, TikTok is supposedly “shaping up to be a primary incubator of baseless and misleading information, in many ways as problematic as Facebook and Twitter, say researchers who track online falsehoods.”
Who in the world crowned the propaganda-spewing Times the Arbiter of Truth?
Who crowned Vazquez the arbiter of what is and is not misinformation? He didn't say.
The MRC is really angry that TikTok wants to stop election misinformation -- as if they feel threatened by fact-checkers even though their account has been suspended -- because Salgado ranted further about it in an Aug. 17 post:
Foreign interference in U.S. elections? Chinese Communist Party-linked TikTok launched an in-app Elections Center in the lead-up to the 2022 U.S. midterm elections.
On Aug. 17, TikTok released a statement detailing, “Our commitment to election integrity.” TikTok described its new Elections Center, with “authoritative” resources in 45 languages, including live election reports and information about “who and what” is on the ballot provided by Ballotpedia. TikTok will also label content across its platform related to the midterm elections, allowing users “to click through” to the Elections Center.
This comes as the U.S. House of Representatives’ Chief Administrative Officer Catherine Szpindor just issued a “cyber advisory” on TikTok, labeling the app “high-risk” because of China’s access to personal data on it.
TikTok, which is owned by Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-tied ByteDance, also stated it would ban so-called “election misinformation, harassment - including that directed towards election workers - hateful behavior, and violent extremism.”
Only at the MRC would fact-checking and trying to stop harassment and violence against election workers be considered "foreign interference."