We weren’t joking when some of us said that if the date of 9/11/2001 was changed to 9/11/2023, then thousands or millions of Americans would have taken to the streets and supported Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda.
We were wrong.
Bin Laden’s Letter to America was written shortly after the 9/11 attacks, which left almost 3,000 people dead and permanently changed the skyline of New York City. In it, he justified his murderous acts of terrorism in part due to our “support for the oppressive Israelis who occupy our Palestine.”
The Guardian has been publishing an English translation of the letter for more than 20 years.
TikTok was used by thousands of young Americans to share how bin Laden’s words opened their eyes.
“So I just read a Letter to America,” is one typical TikToker comment, “and I will never look at life the same. I will never look at this country the same. I will never… please, read it.”
Yashir Ali, an Iranian-American journalist at HuffPo and not a right-winger, had the following to say:
TikToks come from all backgrounds, races, ages and ethnicities. They say the letter opened their eyes and that they will never look at geopolitical issues the same again.
I’ve watched many of them, and they all say that it made them re-evaluate how something often called terrorism could be a legitimate way to resist a hostile power.
What is the real situation? The Guardian decided to remove its “Letter To the American People” webpage.
Each of the TikTok Videos I watched on your behalf today encourages viewers to read the bin Laden Letter and then return to TikTok so they can share their thoughts. It’s important to remember that TikTok is a tool for social engineering, not just a platform for social media.
ByteDance, the Chinese Communist company that owns TikTok, is responsible for providing sensitive data. India has banned the app and both the U.S. federal and New York state governments have prohibited employees from using it on their phones. According to a former employee of CNN Business, “China’s Communist Party has supreme access to all the data that Bytedance’s parent company TikTok holds including servers in the United States.”
The algorithm of TikTok is arguably worse. The version designed for China’s audience offers wholesome content such as “eat your veggies, brush your teeth, and do your homework”. The American algorithm parades the fringes of society as the new norm. TikTok is a platform that promotes all those self-loathing weirdos with purple hair, who hate America and are over-pierced.
TikTok is promoting the bin Laden letters people. These people will create their own bin Laden video, which TikTok then promotes. Josh Kraushaar, editor-in-chief of Jewish Insider, reminded his readers that “TikTok” is the most popular “news” source among 18-29-year-olds.
TikTok has helped a segment of the American youth move quickly from an ill-conceived moral equivalence of Hamas and Israel to believing that bin Laden had a right to kill 3,000 people during 9/11.
Ban TikTok now!