Possible Ban on TikTok in the United States

By Kimberly McKenzie

On July 25 2020, President Trump has announced that he will ban the entertainment app, TikTok, due to the fear of the Chinese government’s access to user data. 

TikTok is a Chinese video-sharing social networking service by ByteDance, and was released to the US and worldwide on August 2nd 2018[1]. The platform is mostly known for dance videos and comedic skits that range to 3-15 seconds, along with short looping videos up to 3-60 seconds[2]. Due to this, it has become an entertainment industy as well as a primary platform that both music executives and talent ages use to find potential canidates to hire them for careers as digital stars2. Not only has it been used for entertainment purposes, the app has became an information and organizing hub for activists and politically-minded individuals, especially with the upcoming election, climate change, and the Black Lives Matter movement2.

The US is not the only country who is worried about the app. Indonesia had previously banned the app in 2018 as they cited concerns which included “pornography, inappropriate content and blasphemy, as well as immoral, obsene, and vulgar content”[3]. While Indonesia had lifted it’s ban less than a week later in 2018, Pakistan is currently citing the same problems as Indondesion had, with the threat of banning the app in the country. Countries including Turkey and Australia are currently investigating TikTok, and whether it complies with thier regulations on key platforms. Meanwhile a team of lawmakers in Japan are building a case to take to the Japanese government in September to urge officals to look into the app, as well as other Chinese apps, for concerns over privacy and user data3.

As of now Microsoft is talking to buy the app’s U.S. operations to protect it’s citizen’s privacy from the Chinese government. If ByteDance does not sell, then they will have no choice but to move out of the country3. In worst case scenarios, TikTok stars and users alike will have to find another means of social media to keep up with thier jobs and other needs should the app shut down in the US.

[1]“TikTok.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 5 Aug. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TikTok.

[2]Lorenz, Taylor. “TikTok Ban? Creators and Fans Are Big Mad.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 2 Aug. 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/08/02/style/tiktok-ban-threat-trump.html.

[3]Jennifer Hassan, Ruby Mellen. “It’s Not Just the United States: These Governments See TikTok as a Growing Problem.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 3 Aug. 2020, www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/08/03/its-not-just-united-states-these-governments-see-tiktok-growing-problem/.


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