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Is Time Running Out for TikTok?

Lisa-Teen October 10, 2020


Is Time Running out for TikTok?

My niece sends me goofy TikTok videos all the time, and I never know what to expect until I open them - anything from cat videos to the latest dance craze to ingenious hacks I never would have thought of trying. I could literally spend hours watching clip after clip, and so do many of YOU!  

TikTok, a video sharing app founded in China in 2016, is said to have approximately 100 million US users and is insanely popular with Gen Z. According to a graph released on July 22 by J. Clement on Statista, TikTok’s main U.S. users are teenagers, followed by young adults in their twenties. Also, Tik Tok is favored by female users in every demographic. 

Tik Tok is accessible in 141 countries in 39 different languages and has been downloaded over two billion times globally. A top account on TikTok has over 70 million followers.

Why do we like Tik Tok so much?  I asked my niece Briana, and she likes that there are “so many different people...sharing information and ideas and tricks”  She also likes seeing creative, artistic people sharing their vision. Others I have asked replied that they have found a sense of community they just couldn’t find anywhere else on the internet and enjoy getting exposed to other cultures and customs. 

But is TikTok’s time here in the U.S. about to expire? 

President Donald Trump has been trying to ban TikTok, voicing a concern for national security: he signed an Executive Order on August 6th, “to address the threat posed by one mobile application in particular, TikTok.”   Executive Order on Addressing the Threat Posed by TikTok

He wishes a US company to have some control in the Chinese-based social media app and, if TikTok refuses to sell a stake in the company to a US business by November 14th, it will be completely banned in the United States. However, in a ruling just released September 28th, TikTok was granted a temporary reprieve by a federal judge keeping it available in US app stores, for now. The ruling cites insufficient evidence of espionage which would not allow the president to block the app and its content. It is currently reported that TikTok is in dealings with Oracle and Walmart to buy into their company, after a Microsoft bid was declined.  

The United States is not the only country having issues with TikTok, however. For various reasons, three other countries have also temporarily banned TikTok from its citizens. Indonesia banned TikTok in 2018 until it sanitized its racy content. In February, Bangladesh blocked TikTok citing lewd content and pornography concerns, but it was eventually unblocked. Then, in late June, India banned the app due to political clashes and morality complaints. In Hong Kong, leaders fear youth display risky behavior to garner more followers, and Japan is considering some limitations to TikTok as well. There are whispers that our friends down under are also considering a TikTok ban.

What do you think? Is TikTok a threat? Should it be banned? Or is it a place to express yourself through videos and share opinions and cultures? Do you feel your rights are being suppressed by such a ban? We can only wait and see how this plays out in the courts.

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