CCP’s ‘digital fentanyl’: TikTok, a billionaire GOP donor and U.S. national security

Special to WorldTribune, September 27, 2023

Commentary by Laurence F Sanford

TikTok talks money. Despite being an insidious influence on American culture and national security, TikTok has support from many monied and influential elite leaders in the U.S.

Money talks. Wall Street billionaire Jeff Yass is fighting to stop a ban on Chinese-owned TikTok on the grounds of protecting free speech and innovation. Yass’s support of TikTok could be because of his $21 billion ownership stake in ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok. ByteDance is headquartered in Beijing. If TikTok is banned in the U.S., the market value of ByteDance would decrease along with Yass’s personal fortune.

Yass is also a top donor to Republican causes, including Club for Growth (CFG). He has donated $61 million to this group since 2010. CFG is actively and publicly rallying Republicans to oppose a ban on TikTok.

Three days after Sen. Josh Hawley (R. Mo.) tried to fast-track a Senate bill to ban Tiktok, Sen. Rand Paul (R. Ky.) stood on the Senate floor and quashed the bill. Yass and his wife, Janine, have donated over $24 million to Paul or his committees since 2015. Another Republican senator opposing a ban on TikTok is Thomas Massie from Kentucky. He receives CFG funding and says he doesn’t like TikTok but thinks the ban isn’t right because “the cure is worse than the disease.” TikTok is also sending its own lobbyists and dark money cronies to Congress to oppose the ban.

Many Democrats are TikTok followers and skeptical of the ban. Billionaire Democratic donor George Soros is financing an army of Gen-Z TikTokers to push his extreme left-wing causes, praise President Joe Biden, and bash conservatives.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R.Fl.) is an outspoken opponent of TikTok as is Sen. Hawley. FCC Chairman Brendan Carr has labeled TikTok “China’s digital fentanyl.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray has raised national security issues about TikTok. The FBI is concerned that the CCP has the ability to control the app’s algorithm “which allows them to manipulate content” and influence users.

Free speech is a basic block in the foundation of American civilization. However, free speech does not include shouting “fire” in a theater if there is no fire, and free speech does not include advocating for the murder of another person. Do laws allow unfettered access for children to pornography? Do laws allow unfettered access to opioid drugs?

TikTok poisons American children and American culture. It is a Chinese company that must, by a 2017 security law, support the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) policies and provide any and all data to the CCP if so demanded. Communists, by nature, lie, so when TikTok executives say they would defy the CCP in turning over data, they lie.

TikTok is part of the unrestricted warfare being waged by the CCP against the United States. The app steers users down rabbit holes where China is good and free-market American capitalism is bad. Bringing up Tibet, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, or Taiwan independence by users is forbidden.

Countries throughout the world have or are contemplating banning TikTok for its content. In 2020, India banned it along with 58 other Chinese apps, including WeChat, because they were “prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defense of India, security of state and public order.” In Africa, Senegal banned TikTok because of hateful and subversive messages. Kenya is considering a ban because of sexually explicit materials. Other countries in the world considering bans are Jordan and Kyrgyzstan.


TikTok’s addiction is harmful to the development of teens. Recent examples of its malignant influences include challenges resulting in deaths in boat jumping, stealing Kia and Hyundai cars, store thefts, football game activities, and cooking food in Nyquil. It should be noted TikTok is not allowed to operate in China.

Vast amounts of personal data are being collected on TikTok users. Supposedly, the data is not stored in China, but there are several examples proving otherwise. With current computer capabilities, the data collected is useful to CCP intelligence/military agencies.

But the major threat of TikTok is its app programming poisoning U.S. elections, public discourse, and culture. It is the fentanyl (another poison from the CCP) of the internet. Even more disturbing, TikTok is testing a partnership with Google to enhance its search features. This is the same Google that skewed the 2020 election with its hiding of the Hunter Biden laptop story.

Laurence Sanford graduated from Boston College and then served in the U.S. Navy Pacific fleet from 1963 to 1966. He then served as an officer in the clandestine service of the Central Intelligence Agency for over 4 years, including a two-year assignment in Hong Kong. Mr. Sanford serves as a Senior Analyst with the American Security Council Foundation and is also President of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers — Florida Satellite Chapter.