TikTok ban discourse, again; national security aid package follow-up: Four Pillars Roundup

Apr 29, 2024News

Minh Nguyen is the Editor of the Boston Global Forum and a Shinzo Abe Initiative Fellow. She writes the Four Pillars column in the BGF Weekly newsletter.


With the recent American foreign military aid package finally passing Congress and signed by the White House, one of its corollary, the bill to ban TikTok, is regaining traction in public debate. Since the last round of discourse, the positions of both sides have not changed, and neither has this column’s. It is indeed in the best interest of not just the US, but the Four Pillars, to ban TikTok. It is unwise to allow a geopolitical rival to hold the ability to manipulate public opinion, compounded by the reach it has. India, one of the Pillars, has banned the social media app since 2020, and the sky hasn’t fallen down there yet. In fact, it should be suspicious that ByteDance would rather cling onto the app instead of spinning or selling it off – it indicates the worth of the app is not just one of monetary value, but something more social, political, and psychological. 

Outside of the TikTok talk, the US, a Pillar, has now begun sending military equipment again to Ukraine, as they should have done (or been able to do) months ago. The UK, a part of the Europe Pillar, has also pledged more aid and equipment. These are all needed aids if Ukraine is to withstand further Russian onslaught and invasion – and if China is ramping up its aid for Russia as reported.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo