TikTok threatened by US government

Trump claims national security issue


Gillian Kapinos

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, people have turned to social media as an escape from the real world. Influencers and small businesses similarly turned to social media for advertising. Now, one of the biggest social media apps — TikTok — is threatened to be taken down by the U.S. government.

There are certainly a number of reasons to approve the ban of TikTok, there’s a chance it could steal your data, and it’s another social media app that can affect people’s mental health. 

TikTok does collect a significant amount of user data, research shows. To sign up, users must provide their email, phone number and a link to another social media account,” according to The Guardian,  

My question is, what’s the difference between signing up for TikTok and signing up for Facebook, another social media platform that has access to your data? A big distinction is that TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. The Trump administration claims that it’s stealing U.S. data and is potentially selling that information to the Chinese government.

“We’re certainly looking at it”, Secretary of state Mike Pompeo told Fox News. “With the respect to Chinese apps on people’s cellphones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right.”

Although that might be the reason on the surface, I don’t think that’s the only reason for the threat. On June 20, President Trump held a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He believed that 20,000 were going to attend, but only 7,000 showed up. Teenagers on TikTok worldwide generated this change by reserving tickets and then not attending. With the unsuccessful rally, I believe President Trump’s real issue with TikTok is his inability to control others’ narrative of him. 

The Trump administration has given American tech companies 45 days, which started on August 6, to purchase TikTok. After, the app will be made unavailable to download in the U.S.. TikTok is suing the Trump administration over their rights being infringed. 

“We do not take suing the government lightly; however, we feel we have no choice but to take action to protect our rights, and the rights of our community and employees,” TikTok said in a blog post

The need for banning TikTok in America is slim to none, and I believe President Trump has other things to worry about right now, such as America being number one in coronavirus cases and deaths.

During quarantine, TikTok has been one of the main entertainment sources for many teens and adults, and it has been able to help many people through this difficult time. It has also helped to educate people on real-world issues. For many of my friends and myself, taking away TikTok would take away a huge platform for communication, connectivity and advocacy.

All President Trump is doing by removing TikTok, is protecting his ego from teenagers on social media. I, like many, think he doesn’t care about the American people; that he doesn’t care about the 178,000  people dead from COVID-19, or the black people being shot by law enforcement. He just cares about taking down Joe Biden and winning the election, and that Gen Z on TikTok is a threat to Trump’s election win and ego.