Way too often, people ask me why I've never taken the plunge into the brain-draining waters of TikTok. Although we'll probably be forced to do it someday, today's article highlights one of the many reasons why I'm hesitant to dive in...
Last night, without rhyme, reason, or any valid explanation, TikTok banned the popular Oklahoma-based account Diary of a Blue Dot. So far, they haven't provided any option to appeal.
Ran by Layne Stansberry, Diary of a Blue Dot had 53,000 followers and had grown into a go-to source for left-wing partisan news, opinion, and outrage about Oklahoma politics, reaching millions of swipe-addicted people a month who can't put down their phones at bedtime, including my mom who regularly emailed me Layne's videos.
We had Layne on The Lost Ogle Show earlier this summer to talk about their TikTok stardom, so I sent them a DM to see why they were banned.
They suspect it was the result of a coordinated attack from right-wing trolls who simultaneously reported their account to TikTok for various content violations. Because social media companies are terrible businesses run by mysterious algorithms that are accountable to no one, that was apparently enough for the robot gods to serve as judge, jury, and executioner and ban the account.
Layne suspects the mob was led by some Derplahoman troll named Ron Causby. He's a fledgling Facebook content creator who has a small following in a couple of Oklahoma right-wing propaganda echo chambers. He is such a stand-up guy that he was denied from being a school bus driver due to character reasons.
To be clear, I don't know if some coordinated attack by right-wing mouth-breathing social media addicts is what led to Layne's removal from TikTok. I'm just going off what they told me, but it wouldn't surprise me.
As one who sold my soul to Facebook and Twitter years ago, I know how awful social media platforms can be to work with. They can ban anyone, including the most powerful man in the world, for whatever reason they want, and either through deplatforming or arbitrary algorithm adjustments, upheave your business model and livelihood without any explanation, warning, or accountability.
It kind of makes you wonder – Considering how big of an influence and impact these companies have on global culture, society, and daily life, maybe they've grown too powerful and too big to manage, and perhaps our Government should look into how these companies work and operate, and regulate them in an effort to protect consumers from the algorithms that control them.
Just kidding. That's a sane and logical idea and will never happen.
Anyway, although Layne's account, and the thousands of hours of work they put into it, appears to be in some Internet graveyard – at least for now – they're not letting that stop them. They're already hard at work building a new account that you can follow until it's banned without warning or notice again.