Joe Lonsdale: American Optimist

Ashton Kutcher: China, TikTok, and Influencing American Minds | Season 1 Ep 2

June 29, 2021

More than 70 percent of child sex trafficking happens online. When Hollywood superstar Ashton Kutcher first heard this statistic, he knew he had to do something to stop it. His efforts took him to Silicon Valley—where, hoping to enlist leading tech entrepreneurs in the fight against online trafficking, he first met Joe. Through their work together, Kutcher's organization, Thorn, has built software and processes that have enabled governments to rescue thousands of children from sexual abuse. [Joe partnered with Ashton in Thorn’s early days to enlist talent, refine strategy, and reach scale, as well as serving on its board.]

Ashton is an innovative technology investor, an extraordinary family man, and a philanthropist. In this episode, he discusses the dangers that face children online, and makes the case for why tech companies should do more to help law enforcement protect the vulnerable. He also weighs in on the future of social media and explains how China could use TikTok to influence the minds of Americans in an anti-U.S. propaganda effort. Finally, he details how his upbringing, with its focus on hard work and perseverance, propelled him from modest origins to his career as a world-famous actor and model. 

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