Spooky Tik-Tok Stuff Continues

by Shelt Garner

It has happened again. Now, to be clear, the following is probably at best simply proof that Tik-Tok is listening to our conversations. But even then, that’s a Not Great, Bob type situation.

But here goes.

Something very curious happened yesterday. I met up with a lot of family for the holidays and it was yesterday that I noticed something very…off…about my Tik-Tok FYP.

It definitely seemed as though the minds of the people I was near during the holidays were influencing my FYP. I mean, why was I suddenly getting all these videos pushed to me that had more to do with my relatives’ lives than my own?

All very curious.

But I seem to be the only person to notice this activity, so, lulz? I suppose it’s all in my head. And, like I said, it could just be that Tik-Tok is listening to our conversations. But given that Tik-Tok is essentially an arm of the CCP, that is Not Cool from a national security standpoint.

And if Tik-Tok is doing that, then of course other Big Tech companies are listening to our conversations, only in a more subtle, downlow way.

Very, very curious.

Why, Yes, I *AM* Ready For My Close Up, Tik-Tok

by Shelt Garner

I just don’t trust Tik-Tok very much. So, when my view count suddenly started to go up from ~300 to ~2,000, I started to wonder What The Fuck Is Up. I, for one, haven’t changed anything about my videos and, as such, either nothing is really going on other than some tweak in the We’re-Not-Reading-Your-Mind Tik-Tok algorithm or Something Is Up.

This could all change, of course, but it’s a brutally hot summer day, so I find myself idle musing if maybe Tik-Tok is somehow fucking with me. Maybe Tik-Tok is trying to either bait me into using their business account feature or they want to Tuhn Me Intoa Staah!

Now, remember, at the moment, I’m a total nobody. Total. Nobody. So any additional attention to me for any reason –even you, reading this blog post — is Of Note to me. I just don’t really get much attention in the real world and I’ve reach a point where I’m invisible to anyone under 30.

Anyway, lulz, nothing matters. But it is somewhat amusing to imagine a situation where I’ve caught the eye of someone at Tik-Tok to the point that they want people to know about me and my videos.

But that — just like me being unnerved by the idea that Tik-Tok can read our minds — is just regular old crazy talk.

Tik-Tok Can Be So Spooky Sometimes

by Shelt Garner

I don’t remember what it was, but I thought about some subject really intensely out of the blue and then, what do you know, within 24 hours I was pushed a video on Tik-Tok on that very specific topic.

Man, is that weird.

And it happens all the fucking time! Usually, it happens when I think really intensely about a specific subject briefly. But I also find some very strange — but similar — things happen as well. Like, I was getting pushed a lot of Jane Birkin videos and then the moment there were any Alexa Chung videos I got pushed those, too. I had a really weird — even for me — and intense celebrity crush on Ms. Chung for a bit there several years ago.

So, weird that Tik-Tok would know that much about me.

The question, of course, is, is this just AI I’m seeing or something far more ominous? I really have to be careful talking about the idea that Big Tech can read our minds because people think I’m fucking crazy whenever I do. The only reason why I even suggest such a thing is how often some very, very strange things happen in regards to Tik-Tok pushing me videos that seem very, very specific to what I’ve been thinking about in the last 24 hours.

You think people in America would want to band Tik-Tok just because of how close their are to the CCP, just imagine if they were close to the CCP AND they could read our minds! Wow. Just wow.

I refuse to believe that Big Tech can read our minds. But it is a very interesting thing to at least entertain. It’s all very curious.

Of AI….& Tik-Tok Reading Our Fucking Minds?

by Shelt Garner

It hasn’t happened that much recently, but Tik-Tok continues to seem to have a very…eerie…ability to pin down exact elements of my internal monologue. It’s all very curious. I’ve kind of learned to shut up about it, though, because mentioning my fears on this subject causes people to look at me funny.

But Tik-Tok continues to figure me out on such a specific manner — seemingly in real time — that there are two solutions to the issue. One, Tik-Tok has really good AI to the point that it can figure what’s going on in my mind simply from analyzing my usage…or it can fucking read not just my mind, but everyone’s mind!

I don’t think Tik-Tok is reading my mind, but I do think that however it’s figuring out what’s going on in my mind should be regulated — hopefully out of existence. What is the spookiest about what Tik-Tok does is the near-real time nature of it.

If what was going on was a general figuring out of me as a person, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. What is alarming is I think about something really hard and….then with 24 hours I get pushed some obscure thing on Tik-Tok that makes very clear reference to what I was thinking about.

Very strange. Very odd.

But absolutely no one listens to me. And if they did listen to me, they would think I had lost my mind. So, no. Like I said, I don’t think Tik-Tok can read my mind….but something…..strange…is going on.

What, though?

I Don’t Know What ByteDance is Up To With Tik-Tok, But Something Curious Continues To Go On

by Shelt Garner

Ok, it’s completely bonkers to propose that CCP-avilated ByteDance might be able to read the minds of Americans via Tik-Tok. I get it. I sound like a crazy person. But how do you explain this: my teeth have been sore recently for some reason.

And, lo and behold, today I got pushed a video that had to deal with someone’s teeth hurting.

I’m sure it’s just a coincidence. Given my age, etc, then the algorithm simply is guessing that someone in my demographic might have teeth issues.

Still curious, though.

So Very Strange

by Shelt Garner

A few days ago, I thought really hard about the time many moons ago when I slept overnight at a hostel. Well, would you believe that I got pushed a Tik-Tok just now about that VERY SAME THING — someone worried about sleeping at a hostel.

Because that was the memory I thought about — how unhappy I was as an Old sleeping at a hostel. And there it was, a video of a young woman looking very concerned about the risks associated with sleeping at a hostel.

I know — know — it’s not possible that Tik-Tok is actively rooting around in my mind.

But…it is very eerie. I didn’t tell anyone about this memory. I didn’t tweet or blog about it. Only *I* specifically knew that I was even aware of such a situation in the first place.

Tik-Tok Can Be A Real Sewer Of Disinformation

by Shelt Garner

I don’t know about you, but as an Old, I get pushed a lot of Tik-Toks that are a lot more serious than the usual hot chicks bounce around, dancing. Some of the Tik-Toks I get are just various forms of blatent disinformation.

It’s all very grating for various reasons because a lot of (younger) people don’t realize what they’re seeing is, essentially, a lie. And, wait, it gets worse — the Chinese government is deeply mixed up in Tik-Tok so they have a vested interest in pushing as much disinformation as possible to unsuspecting young Americans.

So, in a sense, I hope Tik-Tok does get banned. I’m really growing quite annoyed at how much conspicuous disinformation the service pushes me on a regular basis. What’s worse, I still struggle to understand the “spookier” elements of the service’s ability to push me things that definitely seem like it can read my mind — but it can’t read my mind, right, right? RIGHT?

Anyway. Whatever. No one ever listens to me. Maybe one day, but not at the moment and not for the foreseeable future.

Should America Ban Tik-Tok?

by Shelt Garner

While I really enjoy Tik-Tok, I am an Old and as such I lean towards supporting a ban of the service in the States. Some of the abuses I’ve heard on the part of the service, like tracking the individual locations of Forbes reporters of all things, only confirm my worst fears about Tik-Tok.

The only thing I don’t like about the idea of banning Tik-Tok is it sets a dangerous precedent in regards to the regulation of social media. Given that the United States is likely on the cusp of a final slide into autocracy I’m not thrilled will establishing the legal basis for our new autocrat President Ron DeSantis to fuck with social media just when we’re going to need it the most.

But I do have some real national security concerns about Tik-Tok. It’s spooky ability to figure out my internal monologue has been enough to get me thinking paranoid thoughts of maybe some sort of “digital telepathy” might be involved. That’s just bonkers, though. And probably the less I talk about that fear, the better.

I’ve mentioned my fear about Tik-Tok being able to read my mind while drunk at a bar and it did not go well.

I would just prefer someone as potent within America’s youth culture to be owned and operated by a company that was under the auspices of American law and ethnics. I don’t like the idea that the Chinese government is able to monitor — and influence — on an intimate basis the domestic social media activity of its chief geopolitical rival.

Only time will tell, I suppose.

Ok, You Have Me Figured Out, Tik-Tok…But How?

by Shelt Garner

I continue to be amazed by Tik-Tok’s ability to figure me out to a very, very specific degree. I’ve written about this phenomena repeatedly — even going so far as to suggest Tik-Tok can read my mind in some way — but let’s talk about the latest version of this, which I think might be explainable without any strange, kooky ideas.

Jane Birkin

A long time ago, I had brief, intense celebrity crush on fashion It Girl, Alexa Chung. Now, what’s so weird about this is for some time I’ve been pushed videos of Jane Birkin (who Ms. Chung looks up to a lot) as well as her daughter, Charlotte Gainsbourg.

I find all of this kind of weird. I find it weird because I started getting pushed videos about Birkin and Gainsbourg pretty much out of the blue. But I will admit that once I was pushed the videos that I lingered on them and liked them, which could explain why I also got videos of Chung pushed my way as well. Maybe? Anything to explain what’s going on rather than to suggest digital telepathy. What about what I was looking and liking on Tik-Tok could possibly have narrowed down what the service knows about me down to my interest in Chung and, by extension, Birkin and Gainsbourg?

It’s all very strange. Spooky even.

I don’t think Tik-Tok can read our minds — even though it definitely seems like it at times, but….the mystery of algorithms remains very eerie.

What If I’m Right & Big Tech Can Read Our Minds?

by Shelt Garner

I don’t really believe Big Tech can read our minds. I just don’t have any cold, hard evidence I can point to and have someone who is “normal” believe me. The idea that the technology exists — but is somehow being hidden — for technology companies to peer into our minds is just too fantastical for anyone with a “normal” life to take seriously.

So, I’m just daydreaming about this. I like to run scenarios and so I’m just thinking out loud. I’ve done this before, I think, but I feel like doing it again just for fun and to get it out of my system.

The key thing would be who knows that this technology not only exists but is being used in a practical manner for commercial reasons? A subsequent question would be, of course, if Big Tech is monitoring our minds, then what can the NSA? The NSA is often times a few years more advanced in such technology because there is a practical intelligence use for it.

In fact, one reason why I have my doubts about Big Tech being able to read our minds is it would be such a huge, powerful secret. It just doesn’t seem like the type of thing that could be kept a secret. Of course, if you limit your concerns on this issue to just Tik-Tok being able to read your mind, then the possibility such a secret could be kept grows significantly.

What is interesting — an a little disappointing — to me is if Big Tech eased us into the idea that Digital Telepathy existed, then we could get cool shit like $1,200 “mindcaps” that would replace an array of existing media devices. We could, maybe, “watch” TV and movies using our own minds. We could send “mind mail” to each other. Record dreams. All sorts of interesting commercial applications — and abuses — come to mind. Strange Days and Dreamscape are two movies that come to mind that play with such technology and its practical, real world applications.

I suppose the fear — if such technology exists — is that people will freak out and want to storm Silicon Valley so they can burn it to the ground. The idea of “mind rape” being used in regards to Digital Telepathy definitely does enter your mind when thinking about such things.

Anyway, I have no proof. Just a mild unease. Whatever Tik-Tok is doing — if it’s doing anything — seems to be most potent when it comes to things associated with the body. When Tik-Tok pushes you a video that seems to make reference to things about your own fucking body that only you know….that’s enough to weird you out.

And it’s not like when Target started sending pregnancy related stuff to a house of a teenage girl who hadn’t told her folks yet. I’m limiting my concern to only those specific instances when Tik-Tok pushes me a video for something that is very similar to something I’ve thought about really hard and there is absolutely no one or no thing that knows about it besides me.

The issue for me is — either way, there needs to be some regulation. If Digital Telepathy exists, we need regulations and if it’s just an instance of alographtms being really, really good…we need regulations.