back to article Oracle hosting TikTok US data. '25,000' moderators hired. Code reviews. Trump getting his cut... It's the season finale

In a business dance oddly reminiscent of reality TV twists and turns, it appears an offer by Oracle to handle TikTok in the US may have tipped the scales and tentatively gained White House approval. For several weeks, speculation has been rife over who would win the TikTok challenge, with one contender after another dropping …

  1. osakajin Bronze badge

    "handling the software's backend"

    Fnar fnar chortle

    1. NeilPost Bronze badge

      Unless they genuinely ‘lost’ the biggest belly-ache is that Microsoft stared down Oracle and made them over-bid for this piece of arse.

      Microsoft shareholders must be praying to the Gods they did not spaff a HP/Autonomy with tens of $bn’s.

      IMHO Tik-Tok will prove worthless... and a huge distraction to Oracle’s strategic aims. ... unless they have years of Oracle Cloud computing time they need to desperately shift.

    2. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

      Okay, okey (chortle) So: who's handling the front-end hardware?! (harrp-harrp)

      (Oh, it is distributed? Each Tik-Tok user will be responsible for their own hardware front-end? That makes sense.)

  2. Lyle Dietz
    Facepalm

    My head hurts

    I don't blame the way the article was written, I blame the facts contained within it.

    If you wrote a fictional book with these sorts of goings on 10 years ago you'd be told it was unbelievable.

    1. quxinot Silver badge

      Re: My head hurts

      I don't understand why? It's very simple to understand.

      "Originally, the brown envelopes went to the wrong people, and the government got upset. This has been rectified, and will now be business as usual."

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: My head hurts

      "If you wrote a fictional book with these sorts of goings on 10 years ago you'd be told it was unbelievable."

      I think that people would get confused and return the books. The current system makes no sense, but not because it's unbelievable, just because I have no clue what is happening. The premise I understand: the current American administration likes having bargaining chips and is making up pretenses to get them. The rest is totally unclear. What exactly Oracle is doing: I don't know. What ByteDance is doing: I don't know either. What the president thinks: don't know. What the executive departments are doing when they don't know what the president thinks, what the president is going to use to make his final decision when we know he won't be reading the bureaucratic report, who is fighting ByteDance's lawsuit and how, what happened to the deadline of Tuesday which didn't get met, what members of the president's party are willing to put up with, what the members of that party actually think, whether anyone else is going to interfere, I don't know any of this. At least when other political events are happening I can understand enough of what people think and plan to do that I can marvel at the audacity or hypocrisy. With this, I can only sit there and puzzle through how anyone can make plans when there's little or no information from anybody.

      1. Joe W Silver badge

        Re: My head hurts

        You seem to imply the members of the president's party think.

        OK, maybe about the brown envelopes...

        And Trump's statement sounds a lot like blackmail. At least he says the money will go to the government - maybe (ok, surely) in addition to a healthy check to the campaign by Larry.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: My head hurts

        President wants to look tough on Jina

        Advisers point out that turning off the favorite cat video habit of 100M addicts just before the election might not make him look like Santa Claus

        China was going to block the sale anyway, Oracle could't afford it and would fsck it up

        So Larry donates a few $M to the Don, gets a few $100M contract to run some servers for TikTok and suddenly security is not a problem

        It's just like the deals for restaurant services in New York by certain Italian-American family businesses

      3. ciaran
        IT Angle

        Re: My head hurts

        That's exactly why its more like a relaity show than anything else.

        Bravo to el reg for having spotted the link.

        Not sure about the IT angle in the end, this is pure fiction... right?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: My head hurts

        President does not like China - no Trump Hotel deals :(

        President punishes China with trade.

        China hates President, loves TikTok.

        President fears TikTok will make him look bad

        Oracle loves President and money

        TikTok pays Oracle to manage US content

        Oracle makes President look "good".

        Happy ending :(

        1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

          Re: My head hurts

          Hang on: I thought it was B Clinton who got the happy ending in the Oval Office? ... I'll get me blue dress. COAT! I meant, coat!

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: My head hurts

            I thought it was Dubya Clinton, not B Clinton.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: My head hurts

          "President fears TikTok will make him look bad"

          That already happened is probably what kicked this all off in the first place.

      5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: My head hurts

        Confused? You will be after this weeks episode of.....Soap!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My head hurts

      "If you wrote a fictional book with these sorts of goings on 10 years ago you'd be told it was unbelievable."

      The Vertigo comicbook series "DMZ" was pretty good and seems very prescient, looking back at it now.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why????

    Seriously, not a rhetorical whinge, but how can they make money off this?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Why????

      "I said I want a cut of the money to the US government because we made the deal possible."

      This means:

      Trump said Trump wants a cut of the money to the US government because Trump & friends made the deal possible.

      And it's been in the news lately that his campaign has been hemorrhaging money.

      Hopefully that makes it a bit clearer what he wants out of this.

    2. James Anderson Silver badge

      Re: Why????

      Like every other Web 2.0 by scanning your posts and comments and selling the data to advertisers.

      Although for the most part companies that pay for “targeted” ads are the ones being conned.

      1. Maximum Delfango Bronze badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Why????

        "Although for the most part companies that pay for “targeted” ads are the ones being conned."

        Completely agree; we all run ad-blockers, everyone hates ads on webpages. I think there are three reasons than people in 'digital' marketing continue to push forward with this losing strategy:

        1. They're all stupid. Have you every met anyone in 'digital' smarter than a sea cucumber? Exactly.

        2. They're all herd animals; too unimaginative to think of anything even slightly better.

        3. The slightly smarter ones realise they'll be out of a job if anyone finds out how pointless they are.

        1. Maximum Delfango Bronze badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Why????

          Ah... one marketing droid's wandered into the wrong lane of the information superhighway.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Why????

          "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

        3. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

          Re: Why????

          exactly this, 'Big Data' is as dumb as a bag of bricks. I use an ad blocker, and the few places I don't use it, when I see ads, it's for stuff I've looked at online, sure, but it's not demonstrating any insight or understanding, if 'Big Data' understood me it would show me adverts for dodgy rock music and army surplus, not whatever gadget I last looked at on Bangood.

    3. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Why????

      Oracle has a sizable ad analytics platform FWIW.

      https://www.oracle.com/data-cloud/solutions.html

      C.

      1. Kane Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Why????

        "Oracle has a sizable ad analytics platform FWIW."

        When you say sizable (sic), do you mean it generates a lot of revenue, or that it just occupies a lot of space like a particularly large data centre?

        Icon, because some people...

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Sizable

          why_not_both.gif

          C.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why????

        Thanks Chris, that's an interesting angle I hadn't known about.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why????

      Cloud is the future for tech growth. This holds your applications and data to ransom if you don't continue to pay for hosting. No more of the "buy a licensed copy of software and run it into the ground for the next 10 years, aka sweating thew assets". So to maintain growth and impress investors (growth and shareholder returns are more important than customer, product and other such frivolities after all).

      So Cloud is dominated by Google, Microsoft and Amazon. Oracle needs to be seen as a tier 1 cloud suppliers to keep it's business afloat, hence anything that Oracle has that connects to the internet once in a while is counted as cloud revenue. Now they need big companies choosing Oracle Cloud over the three main players. They don't necessarily need to make money out of them, they need the publicity out of it, Oracle know how to extract the money at a later date with subtle licencing changes and unannounced audits.

      For Oracle they win a big cloud contract, they become 'super hip' by having some part of a contemporary youth phenomenon that includes both likes and shares and they can think about data mining the hell out of it if they want to really impress wall street - somehow AI and ML (yes, not one but both) will be mentioned at some point to really ice the cake (everyone lost interest in Big Data way to soon).

      Oh an Trump, well he needs to fall back on his Straight Talking, No Compromise, Super Smart Businessman persona that he makes deals happen and they are in the interests of the US people for a small event in November. The issue is the US population is too smart to fall for that a second time.

      1. hopkinse
        Coat

        Re: Why????

        "The issue is the US population is too smart to fall for that a second time."

        Evidence? ;-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why????

          Oh, I left that last line hanging there for the bants.

      2. PhilipN Silver badge

        Re: Why????

        I was with you all the way until the last sentence.

        I wish I was wrong but the current incumbent seems to appeal to the rich seam of carpetbaggers and snake oil salesmen in the nations strata (with all due respect to Kieren and his fellow Irish colleagues etc)

        1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

          Re: Why????

          Whereas Joe Biden appeals to...? Genuine question.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why????

            Joe Biden is not-Trump

            That's it. His platform is "getting things back to normal" (i.e. the same corporation and lobbyist controlled governments we have had previously)

            Biden has said he would veto any Medicare-for-all proposals that came to him, despite 69% of Americans (even 46% of Republicans) wanting it.

    5. StrangerHereMyself

      Re: Why????

      By charging more than it costs them? Oracle is really good at that.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why????

      Larry is one of the few fans of Trump in Silicon Valley.

      Larry does the orange one a big favour and now Trump has control over a popular social media platform (which is no longer full of just teenagers dancing!).

      Larry/Oracle will no doubt receive benefits.

      1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

        Re: Why????

        "which is no longer full of just teenagers dancing!"

        Now it will be RUSSIAN teenagers? Shaking their bots?

  4. mark l 2 Silver badge

    So Oracle are going to handle US users data but the ROW will still be handled by Bytedance? So who gets to store the data when a US user communicates with a Chinese user on the platform?

    1. DavidRa

      Stop trying to look behind the curtain! There's nothing behind the curtain. Also, the emperor's clothes are fantastic.

  5. Chris G Silver badge

    I wanna cut

    Who would have ever guessed that a US president would model himself on a street tradrr from Peckham?

    Even down to the blingy lack of taste.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: I wanna cut

      > a US president would model himself on a street tradrr from Peckham?

      I think he's modelling himself on Marlon Brando in the Godfather - unfortunately he has achieved Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    This lays the foundation for Tok Tik whereby every other country demands local data sovereignty of all the US social networks with a local corporation getting a slice of the action to go with it.

    1. matjaggard

      Sadly/happily no other countries in the position to do that are so wily.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        You think not?

        The SCCs have been sunk as a means of stopping the Privacy Figleaf from shrivelling completely. With that and the playbook already written it's the next obvious step for the EU. Apart from that, India seems keen on having its own offerings. And, of course, China.

        I suppose for the UK trying to pull such a deal would get in they way of the much sought after trade deal although touting the UK as the best place in the world to run such a service might appeal to BoJo.

  7. RobLang

    "I want a cut of the money to the US government"

    Isn't that usually called tax?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "I want a cut of the money to the US government"

      There are other names for it.

  8. Just Enough

    Key fact missing

    The most important detail is missing from this report.

    Will TikTok users still be allowed to be mean to little Donnie?

    Let's face it, this is what this is all about. Trump hadn't heard of TikTok until it helped messing up one of his rallies. He did not care if it was spying on its users. He gives not a jot about security concerns. But it made him look silly, and Trump never forgets when someone hurts his delicate ego.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Key fact missing

      The even more important detail is will he be able to find who did it?

    2. Julz Silver badge

      Re: Key fact missing

      Now it makes some sort of perverted sense. I hadn't groked the TikTok no show at the Trump rally campaign.

    3. Boo Radley

      Re: Key fact missing

      This!!! Trump's feelings got hurt, and his ego can't allow that to happen. This entire deal wouldn't be happening if the Tik Tok teens hadn't made him look stupid. I'm certain that any postings critical of Trump will be flagged and deleted immediately.

      1. JudeK (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: Key fact missing

        We borderline considered flagging you for saying "This!!!"

        1. Maximum Delfango Bronze badge
          Happy

          Re: Key fact missing

          First!!!

        2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Key fact missing

          "We borderline considered flagging you for saying "This!!!""

          QFT.

    4. MacroRodent Silver badge

      Re: Key fact missing

      Yes! It is painfully obvious this is what it was all about. The net is strewn with silly platforms for teenagers, but only this one caught Trump's ire because of the fake rally attender stunt some of its users organized. Can't go after them, so go after the platform, and make an example of it.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Key fact missing

        "Can't go after them, so go after the platform, and make an example of it."

        Or go after the platform as a means of going after them.

  9. StrangerHereMyself

    See what sticks

    The Chinese are throwing this up to see if it sticks, because the data will still end up in Chinese hands, mark my words.

    They're trying to see if Trump falls for this conspicuous ploy, or if he's not as stupid as he looks / sounds.

  10. loneshark64

    Trumps cut

    Oracle should give Trump a piece of the action.

    Send a big honkin Exadata rack directly to him at Mar a Lago.

    1. Dinanziame Bronze badge

      Re: Trumps cut

      Then audit him over the number of cores of his license.

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Trumps cut

      Apparently Donald Trump is not paid salary for being President. I can only suppose that it would be conflict of interest if he was paid.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Trumps cut

        I take it he's presidenting on a commission basis then?

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Trumps cut

      Send a big honkin Exadata rack directly to him at Mar a Lago

      Delivered directly by B-52?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the UK Trump would now be a shoe-in for an executive director role at Oracle when (if) he leaves the White House.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Would they change the Oracle colour from red to orange?

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