In a recent interview, actor Ashton Kutcher discussed his apprehension with TikTok trends and the possible safety threat the social media app poses. Kutcher spoke about the future of social media with Joe Lonsdale from the YouTube channel “American Optimist”.
In their talk, the forty-three year old actor also claimed that TikTok could be utilized to enforce “anti-U.S. propaganda” and an “anti-Taiwanese propaganda effort”. Kutcher has also discussed the possibility of significant regulatory reform in the future of social media.
Ashton Kutcher’s interview with Joe Lonsdale
“If I’m China and I want to create a problem in that area of the world, specifically a naval problem in that area of the world, in the South China Sea, I would probably want to utilize TikTok in order to influence the minds of Americans in an anti-U.S. propaganda, anti-Taiwanese propaganda effort in order to make any kind of war from the United States extraordinarily unpopular,” Kutcher said.
“My sense as a fervent American is that it’s getting extraordinarily dangerous for not just individuals but for the country at large,” Kutcher added. “I think we’re about to face a reckoning in that particular domain, and it’s going to probably change what social media looks like in the future.”
Kutcher also spoke about whether he’ll allow his children to use social media in the future. He explained, “My sense is that what social media is today is not what social media is going to be in five years. If the trendline continues on the path that it’s on today, my kids will not be on social media. If the trendline pivots as I think it likely will, there’s a chance that I will allow them to use it.”
TikTok’s recent updates raise concerns
“We may collect this information to enable special video effects, for content moderation, for demographic classification, for content and ad recommendations, and for other non-personally-identifying operations,” it continued.
The policy also added, “We may collect biometric identifiers and biometric information as defined under US laws, such as faceprints and voiceprints, from your User Content. Where required by law, we will seek any required permissions from you prior to any such collection.”
Experts’ opinions on the safety of TikTok
Despite plenty of valid concerns, many experts agreed that the safety of TikTok and its trends are no more dangerous than other social media apps. Principal research scientist at Sophos, Chester Wisniewski reported, “TikTok doesn’t pose any more risk to a user than any other social media sharing application. That isn’t to say that there isn’t risk, but it’s not really different from Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.”
It seems that the social media app is fairly safe for the average user simply watching dance trends. So, if you’re not a government official or someone responsible for national security, then TikTok isn’t exactly a threat. Paul Bischoff, privacy advocate with Comparitech said, “Yes, there are some risks in giving up personal information. But anyone who uses any major social network in the past 10 years has taken similar risks.”
Bischoff added, “There’s nothing outstanding about TikTok except the fact that it’s Chinese-owned. If your job makes you responsible for national security or trade secrets, then you might want to avoid making yourself a target and stay off the app.”
Do you think TikTok trends pose a safety threat? What do you think about Ashton Kutcher’s statements? Is there some truth behind it? Let us know what you think in the comments below!