The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

TikTok Gets Social with U.S. Government Officials

May 1, 2023

TikTok and its Chinese owner ByteDance, which we are constantly told to fear and hate as enemy foreign secret agents, have hired a number of high ranking personnel from the U.S. security apparatus in the last few years. They also hired lobbyists who were senior staff for leading Republican and Democratic politicians.

CIA analyst Ben Patterson, State Department and Homeland Security internet head Jade Nestor, and NATO psychological operations chief Greg Anderson are some of the dozens of FBI, CIA, State Department, and other high U.S. government intelligence decision makers hired by TikTok. Investigative journalist Alan MacLeod found this out by simply searching on resumé posting site LinkedIn!

In fact, TikTok isn’t the only one. Other big tech companies including Reddit have also hired dozens of U.S. security chiefs. FaceBook and Meta hired a number of head CIA agents.

These officials have power and experience manipulating big tech algorithms to support some news sources and downplay others. So, corporate news and analysis like MSNBC, Fox and CNN are seen by the increasing numbers of people who look for news using social media—while other independent and investigative sources are not seen.

MacLeod reports that Google changed its algorithm in 2016 in a way that caused media site Democracy Now to lose more than one in three hits on Google. The Intercept lost one in five. MacLeod’s site MintPress lost more than 90% of its Google hits and more than 99% of its FaceBook hits overnight. Now this unofficial private censorship is all around us.

Working people are told to hate TikTok’s Chinese owners to the point of war frenzy. But U.S. government trained corporate spies manipulate our access to news on social media for the benefit of U.S. corporations.