TikTok is Strategy in ‘Cognitive Warfare’: Rep. Mike Gallagher

Social media platform TikTok is a means of “cognitive domain warfare,” according to Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI).

“The CCP calls it ‘cognitive domain warfare,’ part of their larger political warfare strategy,” he said during a press conference in November.

“Cognitive warfare is not something we tend to think about here in the West. Sure, we have ideas like soft power, but they’re not a national strategy,” he said, adding, “We don’t really do propaganda here. After all, there’s nowhere in the world where you can find a more scathing critique of the United States and its government than in the New York Times or on Fox News on any given Wednesday.”

Gallagher wrote in The Free Press that in the “best-case scenario, TikTok is CCP spyware—that’s why governments have banned it on official phones. In the worst-case scenario, TikTok is perhaps the largest scale malign influence operation ever conducted.”

Last year, Gallagher, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) introduced bipartisan legislation to ban TikTok.

“TikTok is digital fentanyl that’s addicting Americans, collecting troves of their data, and censoring their news. It’s also an increasingly powerful media company that’s owned by ByteDance, which ultimately reports to the Chinese Communist Party – America’s foremost adversary,” Gallagher said at the time.

“Allowing the app to continue to operate in the U.S. would be like allowing the U.S.S.R. to buy up the New York Times, Washington Post, and major broadcast networks during the Cold War. No country with even a passing interest in its own security would allow this to happen, which is why it’s time to ban TikTok and any other CCP-controlled app before it’s too late.”