TikTok – the controversial app set to be banned by the Trump administration for its Chinese links – has partnered with Facebook’s proven far-left, foreign-run fact-checker “Lead Stories” in a bid to moderate content related to the 2020 election.
Lead Stories is neither independent nor U.S.-based, as revealed by the National Pulse in June. TikTok’s enlistment of the service only serves to bolsters the validity of those suspect of the app’s foreign ties.
Specifically, the fact-checking platform outlined that among the “two founders who actually make the editorial decisions” is Maarten Schenk, a Belgian National. Schenk, whose news aggregation service known as “Trendolizer” is the sole source of revenue for Lead Stories, also lists himself as the company’s Chief Technical Officer and Chief Operating Officer.
Half of Lead Stories staff have been employed by the left-wing news network CNN, amassing over 100 years of collective experience at the outlet between them.
In other words, a foreign national controls the content, technology, and revenue stream for an outlet tasked with monitoring content for the upcoming U.S. presidential election. The staff are overwhelmingly left-wing.
FOLLOW THE MONEY.
Also utilized to censor content by Facebook, Lead Stories counts up to a quarter of its staff, including its Chairman and co-founder, as Democratic donors to candidates such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
Per the Federal Election Commission, not a single donation from a Lead Stories board member or employee was pledged to a Republican candidate.
Lead Stories Chairman and founder Perry Sanders, has funneled over $10,000 to Democratic political campaigns including former Other writers have donated to a plethora of overtly anti-Trump Democratic campaigns and activist groups such as Swing Left, a hard-left political group which proclaims:
“2020 is here, and the work defeat Trump and the GOP in November starts NOW.”
Editor-In-Chief and co-founder Alan Duke worked at CNN for nearly 30 years as a reporter and editor. Seven additional individuals at Lead Stories have also worked for the outlet with tenures spanning decades.
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Upon the first exposé of Lead Stories, Duke called National Pulse Editor-in-Chief Raheem Kassam and threateningly claimed to know where young, female National Pulse staffers lived.
And CNN itself has consorted with the Chinese Communist Party.
The network provides “talent, equipment, and internships” as part of a “long history of cooperation” with a “Marxist journalism” school funded and controlled by the Chinese government. The establishment outlet also has an extensive revolving door with China Global Television Network (CGTN), a registered foreign agent in the U.S., seeing past talent proceeding to work for CCP-funded outlet.
The incorporation of Lead Stories into TikTok is not the first case of foreign election interference occurring on the app, as users notoriously weaponized the platform to tank a Trump rally.
Currently owned by Beijing-based company ByteDance, TikTok has swiped user data which many fear could be obtained by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and has censored content at odds with party-peddled narratives on issues ranging from the Tiananmen Square massacre to Hong Kong protests.