Tik Tok has become the app for all media users to share universal dance routines and create awareness regarding world issues. As if 2020 needed another controversial topic, one has emerged regarding social media. On August 1, President Donald Trump announced that he will have Tik Tok banned in the U.S.
Factors Involved in Tik Tok Ban
The announcement comes after a discussion in the White House on whether or not app could be a gateway for Chinese hackers to access personal data from
Americans. President Trump made a statement to reporters on Air Force One. “As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” said the President. He plans to sign an executive order that will place the ban in effect almost immediately.
Tensions have been rising between the United States and China this year in a way that has never been seen before. The tipping point of it all: the coronavirus pandemic. The government is not satisfied with most of the actions of the Chinese government and has even prevented them from entering into their 5G networks. Thus, TikTok is another step to protect the American public from any devious intentions of the Chinese government.
Tik Tok has been the app of 2020. With over 9 billion users engaging daily, the app delivers new trends in dancing and introduces new influencers. It has become a social media staple. Due to the coronavirus lockdowns, the app became all the rage amongst youngsters and adults alike stuck at home and bored. With such a large user base, especially within the United States, the government sees it as a potential threat. This conclusion was drawn due to the app’s parent company, ByteDance, which the Chinese government has access to. Tik Tok denies the claim yet continues to cause question for concern to those who fear that their privacy.
What Tik Tok Has to Say
Tik Tok general manager for the United States, Vanessa Pappas, released a statement. “We’re not planning on going anywhere,” said Pappas. She was very pleased with the support users are showing. Pappas added to her statement “We appreciate the support, we are here for the long run, and continue to share your voice. Let’s stand up for Tik Tok.” The statements were followed-up with an answer to the concern of safety and privacy while using the app. “When it comes to safety and security we’re building the safest app because we know it’s the right thing to do,” said Pappas.
The Public’s Response
The plan to ban Tik Tok is not garnering any approval from the American public. Most of the public is in shock that the app will be banned. They believe that it is wrong to deny citizens the right to use the app. Many famous Tik Tokers took action and posted on their other social media platforms about the controversy. That method is what will save some of them from the potential career-ending decision of the US government. Some even began a trend of videos saying ‘farewell’ to their followers. These include satirical themed videos on the aftermath of the banning of the app.
Tik Tok users are beginning to find alternative measures to continue their personal branding and content creation. Triller, YouTube, and Instagram are now becoming their go-to activity base rather than Tik Tok. Some major influencers such as Charli and Dixie D’amelio, Addison Rae, and Bryce Hall, were already active on Twitter. They have supplementary accounts to grow their audience engagement.
Is Banning Tik Tok an Infringement of Our Rights?
Many have argued that banning Tik Tok is an infringement towards the given rights to American citizens regarding their freedom of expression. According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), this decision could be “a danger to free expression and is technologically impractical.”
Jennifer Granick, an ACLU Surveillance and Cybersecurity Counsel made a statement to the press. “With any Internet platform, we should be concerned about the risk that sensitive private data will be funneling to abusive governments, including our own. But shutting one platform down, even if it were legally possible to do so, harms freedom of speech online and does nothing to resolve the broader problem of unjustifiable government surveillance.”
A Possible Solution
If Tik Tok becomes unavailable to the American public, this will pressure ByteDance to sell all measures regarding operations and software of the app to the United States. This can be a safer way to continue the use of Tik Tok without the personal data of those creating content being at risk.
Speculations are rising towards the idea of Microsoft potentially buying the app. Some businesses of a smaller scale are jumping in the scene to try and get a piece of the business deal. No one has stood out further than Microsoft themselves. This could be the deal of a lifetime, producing hundreds of millions of dollars.
Is the App Still Usable?
Yes, Tik Tok will remain in use. That is, until an executive order sign states the banning of the app on American grounds. The government is not recommending use due to potential security threats. Users may still continue to have fun creating content while the problem solving is in process.