Remember when Donald Trump threatened to ban TikTok in the US? That feels like a very long time from now. But it was less than a year ago.
Trump was angry at the growing power and influence of the Chinese and decided that banning the Chinese-owned TikTok would show them what’s what. There were moves to find an American buyer for the app, but in the end the ban was ruled unlawful by a federal judge and the story passed.
It turns out that the move against TikTok came from Nick Clegg. The former deputy PM is now vice president of global affairs at Facebook. When Mark Zuckerberg was looking for a way to counter TikTok’s rise it was, reports The Sunday Times, “a Nick-inspired thing” to have Zuckerberg use Trump.
Ironically, Clegg also championed the idea of the Facebook oversight board to bring accountability to the company. It was this oversight board that voted to keep Trump off Facebook for another six months, pending a further review.
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The longer he is off it, the trickier it becomes to mobilise again.