Banning TikTok should not be a high priority

A+student+opens+the+TikTok+app+to+scroll+through+the+entertaining+videos+on+their+for+you+page.+TikTok+is+possibly+getting+banned+in+the+near+future+for+national+security+reasons.%0A

Kate Stiens

A student opens the TikTok app to scroll through the entertaining videos on their for you page. TikTok is possibly getting banned in the near future for national security reasons.

Kate Stiens, Opinions Section Editor

TikTok is an app on nearly every teen’s phone, 60 percent of American teens use it on the regular according to a recent survey. Kids everywhere are obsessed, and some even addicted, to the short videos that range anywhere from comedy to dancing. Many spend hours on it everyday not knowing what they would do without it. With recent events taken into account, however, there is a real possibility that the app will get banned.

Donald Trump recently explained to the public that he believes TikTok is a national security threat. TikTok is owned by a Chinese company that goes by the name ByteDance, and Trump views it unsafe for the Chinese government to be able to oversee American information provided through the app.

Many believe that this is a completely valid reason for the popular social media platform to be banned. 

“There’s a lot of data mining with companies like Facebook and Microsoft, but the thing is, those are American companies so it’s not really a national security threat,” Raghav Gangatirkar, ‘24, said.

The current tensions between the U.S. and China make this a valid point. Gangatirkar was a user of the app, but recently deleted it.

Recent events, however, may lead some to believe that Trump had a more personal reason for this sudden interest in banning TikTok. At the Tulsa Trump rally in June, teen TikTokers reserved thousands of spots in advance as a prank, and then did not show up. This prank caused the attendance to be much lower than expected. Though the teens succeeded, this may have given TikTok a bad reputation for Trump.

Some creators use TikTok as their main source of income; some companies use it as a platform to extend advertisements; and some small businesses use this as a way to get word out of their company.”

— Kate Stiens

Others have no privacy concerns at all and merely wish to keep entertaining themselves and others on the app. Jackson Prus, ‘23, has come to terms that nothing on the internet is really private anymore. 

“I think our government does as much data mining as they do with our own social medias that are based here on Facebook,” Prus said.

Although Prus admitted that the ban would not affect him greatly, he still hopes that the effort falls through.

Many, however, will be greatly affected by the ban. Some creators use TikTok as their main source of income; some companies use it as a platform to extend advertisements; and some small businesses use this as a way to get word out of their company. If the app were to be banned, the small business owners would have less publicity, and influencers would need to switch platforms or find new jobs.

As crazy as it sounds, some creators on TikTok make more money through commissions for the likes they get than other full time jobs.

There have recently been TikToks posted joking about influencers such as Charli D’Amelio, known for her iconic dancing videos on TikTok and her absurd amount of followers, working in McDonalds if the app were to be banned.

Ultimately, TikTok provides an outlet for expression and creativity that should be preserved. The positives of the app outweigh the security concerns, which are present on other social media apps also. There are bigger things in this world to worry about than banning an app that may be biasly investagated.   

The only way TikTok will be here to stay is if an American company buys the app. A deal between the investors Oracle and Walmart has been in the making. Whether it goes through or not will determine the future of the app. According to The New York Times, Trump would not allow the deal to go through if ByteDance would still own a portion of the app, stating that Oracle must have full control over the app.

The current plan for the app is to have a one week delay from the original ban date, Sept. 20, to decide parameters on the deal.

 

All views shared in the Opinions section of The Chatterbox belong to their respective authors, and may not represent the views of the publication as a whole.