TikTok, WeChat Censor American Voices on China’s Behalf

China’s Draconian restrictions on freedom of speech aren’t just affecting those living and working in China — they are also impacting U.S. citizens.

Chinese Americans and even non-Chinese Americans who use Chinese-made apps such as WeChat and TikTok are being censored or even having their accounts deleted simply for stating their opinions on controversial topics such as the recent protests and elections in Hong Kong and China’s horrific treatment of Uighurs in the northwest part of the country.

Some would say that it is easy for people who are censored on Chinese social media websites to switch over to other sites. Indeed, a number of Chinese Americans who were censored on WeChat for talking about the recent elections in Hong Kong did start a group on WhatsApp in order to discuss politics without interference. However, many Chinese-Americans still need to use Chinese social media sites in order to stay in touch with their relatives and friends. Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and other Western social media sites are blocked in China.

Chinese social media sites aren’t just used for chatting. WeChat, for instance, is also a leading payment platform, and those who are kicked off the site in the U.S. would find it difficult to get around in China should they return for a visit. Social media sites operating in the United States are supposed to adhere to First Amendment freedom of speech rules. Pointing out that pro-China parties lost big in the recent election in Hong Kong shouldn’t be grounds for censorship. WeChat’s lame excuse for taking down the posts is that the users had Chinese phone numbers in the past, and so the system applies “Chinese” censorship rules to them instead of “American” ones.

TikTok, however, cannot make the same excuse. Seventeen-year-old Feroza Aziz in New Jersey isn’t Chinese, but her video was taken down by the Chinese social media site because she dared to tell viewers to use Google to look up what China is doing to its Uighur population. The video, which initially started as a make-up tutorial, was intentionally marked as such with the goal of helping those who would not normally look into China’s totalitarian policies to do so. TikTok initially tried to justify taking the video down, stating that Ms. Aziz broke the platform’s rules on a previous TikTok account, but was then forced to concede the video has been taken down in error. TikTok put the video back up, apologized and said that it would conduct a broader review of its content moderation policies.

While one would hope that such a review would allow American users full freedom of speech on the website, it’s hard to believe that this would actually be the case. Various events this past year show that China is cracking down on American individuals and companies alike in an effort to make everyone agree with its policies. The NBA took a lot of heat a few months back when a head coach tweeted support for the protestors in Hong Kong. A professional video game player was punished by the video game’s publisher when he likewise voiced support for the Hong Kong people.

Freedom of speech, thought, assembly, and the press is the foundation of any free nation. Allowing a foreign nation to erode this foundation sets a dangerous precedent. As one Chinese-American who was censored on WeChat aptly noted, the “red line” denoting what is and is not acceptable is moving all the time.


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4 responses to “TikTok, WeChat Censor American Voices on China’s Behalf”

  1. All of these so called social media companies are breaking the law. It is treason against the Constitution of the United States of America. It is a form of communism. We all must fight against this or it is going to get much, much worse. Our whole lives have been turned upside down. We all had a way of life and it is slowly being taken away from us. I wonder when the sites we comment on will start to do the same thing. I am getting to where I don’t even trust these sites anymore-how much are they archiving for their future use and are they eventually going to report us to the communist Democrats. It is coming. Thank God I am old enough that my years are now short on this beautiful Earth and I will die of a broken heart. They do not have the right to break our hearts. We are not slaves nor robots. I wish I could pit them in the position they put all of us in-unless of course, you are a Democrat.

    • Hurray for telling the truth now if only the media the Swamp the Democratic Congress would remember they hold office because of the votes of The People. But it is too much these days to demand honesty and truth. But again hurray for you!

      • Thank you Susan.Usually when I comment like this, I get chastised big time. I did speak the truth and I will never regret it. I have don 6 months of research on Congress and the Democrats sitting there supposedly doing their work. Wrong, they are only doing what THEY want and forget that they work for us, their employer. We, the people of the United States of America are their employer. I am sick to death of paying them a salary and they abuse and misuse that money. It appears we are paying them to spend years and years of money and time on hoax after hoax. Investigating the sitting congresspeople, I found that about half of them have criminal backgrounds and should never have gotten even close to being elected for a seat in Congress, especially Nancy Pelosi whom has been into human trafficking since she became an adult and that was when her father was still alive. He was heavily involved in the Mafia when JFK was still alive, Nancy is still in human trafficking. That is why she wants open borders. Those poor immigrants can not speak English or very little of it and cannot defend themselves after being allowed into America to set up a life. All it takes is Nancy’s cronies to watch these people and claim they saw child abuse. And guess what? Next, those babies and children are taken away and those parents will never see their children again and because of their lack of English, they cannot stand up for themselves and their children. Those kids are taken to a secret location of a cult that, by the way, Hillary is in and originated in Albany, New York. Those kids are raped to death and if they do not die, they are murdered and then skinned to make belts, wallets, etc. and the bodies are then cooked and eaten for a ritual dinner by these people. Sick! Deranged! And our government does this? No wonder Trump wants to drain the swamp and I do not blame him. I have been trying to find a special lawyer in DC. to help me to arrest these people and keep getting proverbial doors slammed in my face and I am getting nowhere. I do have a lack of money, but I am willing to give everything I own to the corrupt lawyers to help me place those Democrats in prison. I do not care anymore. I am willing to give up everything to see these people behind bars even to the point that they murder me. I am expecting it. But, someone has to do something or………….the end will come! Thank you for listening.

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