Why TikTok is Being Banned

Frog Tiktok. Alt TikTok. Cosplay TikTok. Willy Wonka TikTok. And yes, even Straight TikTok. Long ago, the different sides of TikTok lived together in harmony. Until one day when the U.S government attacked and attempted to ban TikTok. 

A little bit of background first. The app TikTok showed up in 2012. However, after it merged with Music.Ly in 2018, it’s taken the world by storm. It became a place for teens to post dances, lip-syncing, and even story time videos. It’s had its controversies, but for most teens, it’s just a fun app to watch short videos on.

“Tik tok has been kind of a place I go when I’m bored. It helped a lot of sleepless nights and helped me to focus on other things. I haven’t made a ton of tik toks in that time, but when I did it was a way for me and my friends to have fun,” Shelby Dalton (12) said. 

During quarantine, the app became even more popular due to the fact that people needed something to do. Memes, challenges, and dances gave people something to do and watch. 

“Honestly, I have spent so much time on TikTok, I’ve begun learning history from the sides of Tik Tok I’m on,” Mackenzie Bentley (12) said.

However, in 2019, the U.S government began investigating TikTok because they believed that it was taking users data and giving it to the Chinese government. Tik Tok claims that the app is not available in China and that all data is stored outside of China. Senator Marco Rubio requested that Tik Tok be investigated and in July 2020, The Committee on Forgeing Investment in the United States announced that they were looking into.

Now while the government has wanted to investigate TikTok since 2019, it certainly didn’t seem that way. The announcement of the investigation just so happened to be after President Donald Trump’s Tulsa rally. The rally was supposed to be one of the first presidential campaigns since the shut-down, hosting about 20,000 people. It was planned to on June 19th, a day that is suppose to celebrate the ending of slavery in America. It also was in a city with a violent and racist past. This didn’t go over well, but he did push it back a day. Many Tiktok users registered to go to this event and not show up as a sort of protest against Donald Trump. 

“I thought it was amazing that teenagers had the ability to do that through a social media platform,” Mackenzie Bentley (12) said.

Almost one million people registered to attend, with fake Oklahoma zip codes and phone numbers. And almost less than a third showed up. It was first attempted to put the blame on the protests, but there wasn’t very much happening that night. Many users believe Trump is merely upset over what happened in Tulsa and is wanting to ban the app because of it.

“I think it’s getting banned because of the generation and their diets because we are making splashes of societal movements happening,” Mackenzie Bentley (12) said. 

So what is the real reason. If you ask me, TikTok was considered a possible threat, but it was considered very low. They banned it from being used by government and military phones, but let it stay for the general public. After the Tulsa rally, it became a top priority to ban, but they need proof that the app is actually dangerous. It’s possible that Donald Trump didn’t even know what TikTok was, considering it’s an app used by young people and he is in his 70’s. 

Many people feel that it’s quite ridiculous to ban it because most of the people who have a Tik Tok aren’t usually people with government secrets or information. As mentioned earlier, most of its users are teenagers and young adults in college. 

 “I’ll be completely honest. The algorithm is absolutely horrible and they don’t treat creators right at all and the fact that they bias on what videos get popular and what doesn’t sucks, but I don’t think it should be banned for it, and the reasons that it is trying to get banned is irrelevant and would not even help anything,” Shelby Dalton (12) said.

So if the government is right, the app is taking users data and giving it to the Chinese government, what does that mean? Besides the fact that it means TikTok lied to it’s users, what else could be used with our data? Honestly, it’s hard to tell. But here’s what we know. 

The Chinese government is currently making a “social credit score” for their citizens that takes their finances, social activities, political views, and day to day lifestyle. Essentially, watch everything their citizens do. If they begin taking the average Americans data, it seems as if the U.S. government fears the Chinese government taking over. 

Whatever happens, TikTok has made its impact. Many people on TikTok have already declared that they will revolt if the app is banned. Usually, threats of revolting on the internet usually fall through, but I think this one might actually be true. Some people have jumped ship and jumped over to Byte, which is like TikTok from the creators of Vine. Whoever you may be, one thing is for certain. TikTok may not be available anymore, but it will forever be immortalized by those who used it.