Will Tiktok Be Banned?

Will Tiktok Be Banned?

Jonah Frey

You may have heard that there are plans in motion for Tiktok to be banned in the US. On March 23rd, the CEO of Tiktok was grilled by the US Congress, and there appears to be a bipartisan dislike for the app, with many lawmakers determined to ban it. In fact, the US and other allied countries have already ensured that government employees are not allowed to use the app. Most recently, the Montana legislature voted to ban Tiktok, which is awaiting the governor’s signature before it goes into effect.

All of these problems are based on concerns over Tiktok handing its user data over to China. Tiktok collects huge amounts of information from its users, including location, the clipboard (your copy and pastes) of the user, your likes and dislikes through what videos you watch, and even your typing rhythm, along with other things like name, and age. Tiktok’s parent company, Bytedance, is based in China, and so the Chinese government has lots of power over it. The government is also concerned that Tiktok could recommend videos to users that are inappropriate or manipulate what you see and so influence your thinking. In fact, the government has classed Tiktok as a national security threat, and other countries like India have banned it completely, making it not a completely unprecedented step.

According to the NYTimes, “TikTok said U.S. officials had given its Chinese ownership two options: Sell the app or risk a nationwide ban.” While this is a large step, and probably not a very popular one among many people, they may have a good reason to. In fact, it has been found that Tiktok had both accessed users’ private data, found journalists’ IP addresses, and even been accused of censoring videos about politically sensitive topics. On the other hand, it can be viewed as a violation of our free speech, and an overreach by the government. Because of this, Tiktok remains a debated subject among many governments and people.

What’s your opinion? Leave a comment and tell us.