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WWE and TikTok: Match made in Neverland

Hey, all you grown-ups who still watch professional wrestling, the WWE has teamed up with another entertainment service designed for teenyboppers—TikTok. (I naturally assume that adults who never grew out of their Degeneration-X phase are also using TikTok, but I could be wrong.)

The new partnership will be officially launched today, 15 December, just in time for the WWE Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view extravaganza. According to a WWE press release, the company now has an official TikTok account featuring entrance theme music from over 30 famous wrestlers. Among them, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker (is that cat still alive?), the Ultimate Warrior (pretty sure he’s dead by now), Becky Lynch (whoever that is), and John Cena.

“The themes and original entrance music will be integrated into TikTok’s vast content library joining music from top artists like Lil Nas X, Mariah Carey, Lizzo, and emerging artists like Arizona Zervas,” the press release states. ”By offering WWE’s iconic entrances for TikTok users to play off of and make their own unique videos, the partnership provides fans a new way to engage with their favorite Superstars.”

Jayar Donlan, WWE’s Executive Vice President, Advanced Media, is very excited, or pretending to be.

“We are thrilled to be launching this partnership which offers a new level of engagement with WWE content by enabling the TikTok community to create their own shareable stories tied to WWE‘s world renowned Superstars,” she said.

Mayan Scharf, Global Partnerships, TikTok, sounded an equally euphoric note.

“By capturing the passion and thrill of wrestling, WWE is at the forefront of bringing together sports and entertainment in an unconventional and fun way,” Scharf said. “Through our partnership with WWE, we’re looking forward to bringing the excitement of the WWE experience to TikTok’s global community.”

What are you waiting for? Open up your TikTok app, follow the WWE account, crack open a few Budweisers and start blasting that Stone Cold theme song.

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US goes after TikTok using “national security” pretext

China is a rising world power, which means the United States is extremely hostile to everything related to China, which means the increasingly popular Chinese social media app TikTok is in Washington’s crosshairs. According to news sources the US government has opened a “national security review” of a two-year-old acquisition that saw American social media app bought by Beijing ByteDance Technology Co, the owner of TikTok.

Per Reuters, “TikTok has been growing more popular among U.S. teenagers at a time of growing tensions between Washington and Beijing over trade and technology transfers. About 60% of TikTok’s 26.5 million monthly active users in the United States are between the ages of 16 and 24, the company said this year.”

Therefore, “U.S. lawmakers have been calling in recent weeks for a national security probe into TikTok, concerned the Chinese company may be censoring politically sensitive content, and raising questions about how it stores personal data.”

So the US government is going after a social media app that’s popular with American adolescents because it’s concerned about censorship and data security. Call me crazy but I’m calling bullshit on that one. Since when does the US government, home to the National Security Agency, care about data security and privacy? Maybe it’s found Jesus. Or maybe it’s just full of shit. The latter seems a little more likely.

The investigation into the acquisition is a shot over the bow, just like the attacks on Huawei. The message is clear: the United States is prepared to challenge Chinese development at every turn, in every domain, including social media. In addition to the new Cold War with Russia, the US is instigating another one with China. Because the threat of nuclear war isn’t quite pressing enough yet.

Here’s an idea. Instead of demonizing the comparatively puny and impotent TikTok, why doesn’t the US get its own house in order and impose meaningful regulations on giant mass surveillance firms like Facebook and Google?