To ban or not to ban: what’s going on with TikTok?

By Lanissa Patterson

You just might actually be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of TikTok, the viral application where individuals post videos ranging from 15 seconds to a full minute.

Originally called Musical.ly, the app has been compared to Vine and Triller. In 2017, Chinese owned company Byte Dance bought Musical.ly for $1 billion. Thus, TikTok was born.

Tik Tok has been downloaded over 175 million times in the United States and over one billion times globally since its launch. There is room for every type of video on TikTok, which is part of what makes it so popular. 

When scrolling down your TikTok feed you are bound to see DIYs, skits, and infamous dance videos with way too much choreography. TikTok has a little bit of something for everyone, but it is the humor that attracts 24 year old Monica Collins, retail employee.

“I just use it for mind numbing comedy honestly,” Collins says.“If it’s not funny, I don’t care. I just swipe.”

President Donald Trump doesn’t see TikTok as a laughing matter. On August 6th, 2020, Trump created an executive order addressing the app as a national security concern.

“The spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People’s Republic of China continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States,” the president said in his August executive order. 

Trump says foreign apps are exploiting vulnerabilities in the communication system by gathering location details, search history, and proprietary information. 

23 year old personal trainer Matthew Daws believes there is a possibility that TikTok is a threat to national security.

“Yes it is a possibility considering China owns the app,” he said. “We have done the same to them and we have done the same to our own people. I think it should be monitored but it should be looked at through the justice system”

So what happens now?

45 days after the executive order, the Trump administration announced the expected changes regarding TikTok will be upheld . The application was banned from U.S. app stores as of midnight on September 20th.

The administration will give ByteDance until November 12th to address national security concerns and prove TikTok is not a threat. If concerns are not resolved, there is a high chance that the app will be completely banned in the United States.  In the meantime, if you have the app downloaded, you will be able to post and resume regular activity

TikTok is putting up a fight however, according to TikTok Spokesperson Josh Garter.

“We will continue to challenge the unjust executive order, which was enacted without due process and threatens to deprive the American people and small businesses across the US of a significant platform for both a voice and livelihoods,” he said, as reported by the New York Times.

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