What’s Happening to TikTok

TikTok getting banned!


TikTok getting banned!

Joshua Nonamaker, Staff Writer

TikTok is the biggest app in the world right now, so it came as a surprise to many when the United States government said they wanted to ban it. The number one reason they cite for wanting it banned is because they believe that it could possibly be used for spying on and stealing data of U.S citizens. There are 20 states that have brought up the idea of banning TikTok. 33 states have banned it for federal employees, and Montana has already banned TikTok permanently from the app store. 

President Biden gave Bytedance, the company that owns TikTok, an ultimatum: either divest or sell their share in TikTok. The United States government’s reason for wanting TikTok banned is because they are afraid that Bytedance might be collecting data from American citizens and using that data to spy on Americans. This is due to the fact that there is a law in China that forces private companies like TikTok to hand over information to the government. Bytedance has not made their intentions clear so it’s still unclear if they will sell or not. 

The owners of TikTok had to testify in court in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in March and give their side of the story. TikTok denies that they are trying to spy on their users or sell data. The U.S government mostly wanted to know what TikTok was doing with their users data and how they access the data. TikTok did admit to accessing users’ data but they said they only use it for marketing purposes, and that the data they get can be used to personalize users’ experience on the app. This is nothing new, especially in America, because apps like Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Google all collect data for the same purposes. The only problem is, the government believes TikTok is using a third party to collect the data which could mean that the data and information they collect is being sold elsewhere. But TikTok has denied claims that a third party has access to the data. 

Another problem the U.S government has with TikTok is that it could be influencing the youth in a negative way. The government is afraid that, with TikTok being as big as it is, it could be promoting violence and dangerous activities to young kids which is the app’s primary demographic. Tiktok also denied these claims and said they ban videos that are too graphic or dangerous for the app. 

The United States isn’t the only country trying to ban TikTok. Fourteen countries have already fully banned TikTok or limited the access to it. Almost all of the countries that have banned it citing security concerns as their reason for banning it. So far, in America, the only state to completely ban TikTok is Montana, but the ban won’t come into effect until January 1st, 2024. TikTok is also banned on government phones for government officials and federal employees in 20 states. 

It does not seem like there will be any sort of resolution soon, as the government does not want to budge on their policy and TikTok doesn’t seem like it will change ownership any time soon.