Controversy over Tiktok ban

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According to, Tiktok has over 500 millions consistent users worldwide.

Brooke Holland, Features Editor

If you are not one of the countless teens who spent most of quarantine withering away from being glued to TikTok, a highly popular video-creating app, then President Trump’s threat to dispose of the platform in the United States is probably the least of your concerns. For the millions of addicted users and thousands of verified creators who have made careers out of Tiktok, it almost caused more of a panic than students returning to school despite the ongoing pandemic.

The prompting of this decision is due to security concerns within the Chinese-owned corporation. The app has the capability to access excessive  amounts of private information from users including  location, contacts, audio, and camera recordings. All of which have the potential to be shared with the Chinese government, despite the parent company, ByteDance, denying the allegations of nefarious use of the data. From the standpoint of a consistent user, it seems almost ridiculous to think that any person over the age of 30 would find it necessary to extensively watch shirtless teenage boys and one-hit wonder TikTok stars create dances and pull pranks in the Wendy’s drive-thru for government purposes. 

The removal of the app would be eliminating the TikTok community from teens who share and promote their small businesses, design unbelievable works of art, and share life hacks on how to survive college through the screens of everyone around the world. On the other hand, while the ban would diminish a social networking service that teens are obsessed with (and my overall phone screen time), being deprived of watching cringey and comedic videos seems more fitting than giving up one’s security. It is a serious question of whether or not we want to constantly be watched through our phone screens. 

Following his plan to ban TikTok, Trump gave the company 45 days to sell to an American-owned business. Microsoft and Walmart have announced plans to buy TikTok and run it as a U.S. company, eliminating the potential dangers, while still keeping the app up and running for people across the country. If said plans fall through, TikTok will be blocked on app stores and current users will receive error messages when logging in, similar to  the response in other countries who have banned the app such as India and Pakistan. Until then, it will be much more difficult to find enjoyment scrolling through the “For You” page with the uncertainty of not knowing whether our photos are being searched or if we are being watched through the camera. 

While it does seem like the smallest urgency in comparison to an ongoing global pandemic and the uproar of protests for Black Lives Matter, it is an important issue that has a cause for concern and is just another box to check off of how 2020 has certainly outdone itself.