In the past year, TikTok has taken the world by storm. I like to think that TikTok has partially filled the void after the death of Vine. It has everything - trendy dances, life hacks, comedy, and singing videos. For many, it has become essential to surviving during quarantine. And let's be honest, we all want to become "TikTok famous."
But now, it seems this viral app could be taken away from us all...
President Trump wants to "punish" China by banning TikTok in the U.S.
TikTok is getting banned just after teens used it to troll the President, and I have really serious doubts that it’s just a coincidence.— Santiago Mayer (@Santiago Mayer) 1594163298.0
You're probably wondering, how is TikTok related to China? Well, TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Beijing based company. His comments came after Secretary of State Michael Pompeo mentioned the ban due to national security and privacy concerns.
"It's something we're looking at, yes," Trump said when confronted in an interview with Gray Television's Greta Van Susteren. "It's a big business. Look, what happened with China with this virus, what they've done to this country and to the entire world is disgraceful."
In short, Trump is looking to ban the app because he blames China for the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Internet is furious. I mean, sure, maybe a bunch of teenagers clowned the President by intentionally reserving a bunch of seats at one of his rallies so people don't show up but that doesn't mean he needs to ban the their favorite source of entertainment.
TikTok's data-collecting policies have raised concerns.
Protecting personal data is a huge deal. There are valid concerns that TikTok is collecting data from children under the age of thirteen without parental permission. This is a violation of United States Privacy laws, specifically the federal Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. In response to this, TikTok payed a hefty fine for violating said laws, and installed a restricted mode for younger users.
A company spokesperson for TikTok commented, "We have never provided user data for the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked." See? Nothing to worry about.
After all of this talk about banning, TikTok glitched and sent Gen Z into panic mode.
gen z rn cause tik tok is glitching right after us finding out the app might get banned #riptiktok https://t.co/zZoBzUKKEm— Sol Jaylenne Rosado (@Sol Jaylenne Rosado) 1594319635.0
A few days after the announcement of the possible "ban," TikTok users experienced glitches on Wednesday. The likes and views had disappeared on the app, and people noticed their "For You Page" had changed. Many thought this was the beginning of the end.
People took to Twitter in search of answers and made #riptiktok trend worldwide. Luckily, it was only a glitch that was fixed within a few hours.
The question remains: Is it even possible to actually ban the app?
Although the Trump administration has spoken fervently about implementing a ban, the process to do so is unclear. If they were to issue a decree ordering Americans to not use the app, it would likely be unconstitutional. Americans, mostly Gen Z, would become outraged - especially because TikTok has become a way to cope with the current state of the world.
The app itself is a form of software code, and courts have ruled that publishing and using code can be protected by the First Amendment. Trying to ban TikTok would be a challenge, considering that it would be going against free speech.
These obstacles would make it extremely difficult to actually ban the use of TikTok. You can breathe a sigh of relief - I think it's pretty clear TikTok isn't going anywhere anytime soon. There is still time to perfect the Savage remix dance.