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Back when Victor first told me that he had become a TikTok poster, I warned him that he was planting the seeds of his own downfall. I argued that he would become a TikTok star, only to have the carpet pulled out from under him when a future President Josh Hawley or Tucker Carlson banned TikTok from the United States due to its ties to the Chinese Government. My joke turned out to be more prescient than I thought, for officials from the current Administration began saber rattling regarding TikTok, capped by President Donald Trump himself threatening to ban the application from the United States. At the moment, Microsoft – with its own assortment of China-ties – is in talks to buy the Chinese spyware.
I should note, before continuing, that Victor has expressed no consternation about the prospect that his beloved TikTok will be banned. “It’s one less thing to worry about,” he says. I like to think that this is just a coping mechanism.
The Washington Times reported that the United States Senate voted to ban TikTok from Federal government-issued devices. Senator Hawley, who I had cast in the role of the president who would ban TikTok in the original formation of my banning TikTok joke, stated on the Senate floor that “[t]his app represents and clear and present security risk at a time when we need to be clear-eyed about the threat from the Chinese Communist Party.” The Senate vote followed that of the U.S. House, which voted to ban TikTok from Federal devices several weeks ago as an amendment to the annual military spending package. It is worth noting that, while the legislative process grinds on, the U.S. Departments of Defense, State, and Homeland Security have already banned TikTok from their devices.
For those of you who are fans of victorvgurbo on TikTok, take heart that the prospect of TikTok being banned from Federal devices will probably not affect Victor’s content because Victor is probably not a fed. Furthermore, even if Victor is a fed – something which he would not be able to confirm or deny if he were – Victor proudly uses his own phone to produce TikTok videos and turn over gratuitous amounts of personal information to Beijing. Victor’s budding career as a TikTok superstar continues to hinge on whether President Trump bans the app or approves a future Microsoft-TikTok deal – a deal that would surely ameliorate any concerns about China.