Governments across the world are banning the popular social media app Tik Tok because they believe China is using it to spy on them. The United States last week got one step closer to giving President Biden the power to end the app in this country. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: All right, governments across the world are banning the popular social media app TikTok, because they believe China’s using it to spy on them. You know, the United States last week got one step closer to giving President Biden the power to end the app in this country. Okay. This is way crazy in and of itself. Now, first of all, I really do believe that they’re doing a lot of bad things with the app. I do believe they’re spying on us.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: You know, there’s a thousand things that scare me about TikTok. But to say we’re gonna pass legislation that lets the president of United States unilaterally decide, I’m going to ban it. Okay. Now we’re already banning TikTok in US government offices, right?

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: Pick it up from there.

Farron Cousins: Yeah, this is terrifying and it’s moving forward at lightning pace right now. You’ve got Democrats and Republicans joining forces to say, Biden needs to have the authority to be able to do this.

Mike Papantonio: Oh my God, that’s.

Farron Cousins: Or maybe, you know, the other reports say, maybe we’ll give the power to the Secretary of State. But either way, this opens the door for the next administration, whoever that may be and it could be a very terrifying one to say, oh, okay, well, we’ve got this power, I don’t like Facebook. I’m going to ban Facebook. I don’t like Yelp. Let’s get rid of Yelp because they’re using location services.

Mike Papantonio: You are putting unchecked, unilateral power in the hands of the president or whoever it is at the time, to say, I don’t like this. We’re gonna get rid of it. But don’t you see the real problem here? This is such an unsophisticated approach to the problem.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: First of all, I believe they’re stealing our data all over the country. They’re ripping stuff off from us left and right. Scientific data, military data, personal data, health data. I think the Chinese are just loading that up through TikTok. You know, there’s pretty good data to show that’s, that that’s happening.

Farron Cousins: Yeah.

Mike Papantonio: I get that. But you, but there’s other ways to deal with this besides this legislation that says, hey, we’re gonna create a new, you know, a new guy in charge. If he doesn’t like what you’re doing, he’s gonna end it.

Farron Cousins: Well, and you know, why would they think that TikTok is the only method that this is taking place? It’s happening on Twitter, it’s happening on Facebook, it’s happening, you know, know through Google. All of these social media outlets. If they were to ban TikTok by the end of the week, we’re gonna have 20 apps that do the exact same thing right here available. That’s the way this works.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah.

Farron Cousins: So to target this one specific one, just because it is, you know, based out of China, it shows that we’re operating not out of a genuine concern for our privacy data, we’re doing it out of the xenophobic.

Mike Papantonio: What’s the difference? Okay. Remember all the crazy MSNBC Russia’s coming, Russia’s coming? Why is the media not reacting the same here, the same in this situation when we know that it’s going on? Look, I don’t mind there being some regulation across the board. You can’t, you can’t, you know, there’s equal protection argument. You can’t center on them. You gotta do it across the board. Second of all, the idea of we’re gonna put it in one person’s hands to make that decision is crazy. It’s ludicrous. It’s like they’ve never taken a civics class when they wrote this. Here, but I will tell you this, you know, first of all, I’m kind of torn on this story because I think a lot of the, a lot of what’s being said about what’s happening through TikTok is absolutely true. It’s not guesswork anymore. They have pretty good proof of it.

Farron Cousins: Right.

Mike Papantonio: But here’s what China says. I love this quote. It says, a US ban on TikTok is a ban on our ability to export American culture and values to a billion plus people and to use our worldwide web to tell you, to tell the world about American culture. That’s the Chinese answer to what’s going on here. You think, you buy that?

Farron Cousins: No. It’s their way of sucking up. Like, but wait a minute. If you ban us, we can’t tell everybody how awesome America is. And don’t you want that?

Mike Papantonio: How will they ever know about Honey Boo Boo? Huh? You know, they’ll miss all the opportunity to understand Honey Boo Boo quality social media. Crazy story.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.