TikTok Under Fire 🔥: Could the US 🇺🇸 Really Ban the Popular App? 😱
As the US government cracks down on Chinese-owned apps, TikTok is the latest target 📱— but how will this affect its millions of users? 🤔
TikTok’s popularity is undeniable, but its connection to Chinese ownership has raised alarms in the US. Discover the factors driving the calls for a TikTok ban and what it could mean for social media as a whole.
Why the US is Moving to Ban TikTok, and What it Means for You❓👀
From privacy & national security concerns to political pressure, TikTok is under scrutiny like never before. Let’s dive into the reasons behind the US’s controversial decision to ban TikTok. ❌
TikTok creators from all over the country flew into Washington, D.C.
this past March looking to influence a new type of audience: Congress. 🙌
For more than three years, the US government has been threatening to crack down on TikTok, an app that has topped the download charts and become a powerful force driving American culture. 🇺🇸
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including…trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov
Executive Order 13942 of August 6, 2020 By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of…www.federalregister.gov
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including…www.whitehouse.gov
History of ByteDance ByteDance was founded in 2012 by a team led by Yiming Zhang and Rubo Liang, who saw opportunities…www.bytedance.com
Over the last few years, BiteDance workers in China have reported accessed data from American journalists, while at the same US. China relations have strained, and TikTok’s popularity has made it the poster child for anti-China policy.
But with millions of Americans using the app for entertainment and to support their businesses, a nationwide ban could have devastating consequences. 😥
The inquiry appears to be tied to an admission by the app’s owner, ByteDance, that employees had inappropriately…www.nytimes.com
Employees from TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, spied on at least two journalists using data from the social…www.washingtonexaminer.com
TikTok parent company ByteDance has admitted it accessed the data – including the location – of some journalists as…news.yahoo.com
is now the most downloaded app in the world. The social media app was downloaded more than 176 million times since the…www.cnet.com
So despite dismounting pressure, some Republicans and Democrats are calling on their colleagues to consider what a ban could mean for free speech on the Internet.
Let’s explore and see if Congress is really headed in the direction of a total ban.
Is the clock ticking on TikTok❓👀
TikTok’s future in the US has been on shaky ground for years. So, really, why is this process needed now with TikTok? What was it about TikTok?
One of the brilliant features of TikTok is its ability to learn more about you every time you engage with the app. As you interact with TikTok, it collects more data, gaining insight into your preferences and interests.
In fact, TikTok becomes so familiar with your likes and dislikes that it can even predict your preferences before you’ve realized them yourself.
With TikTok’s sophisticated algorithms, you can discover new content and creators that cater to your individual tastes, all while the app continues to learn more about you with each interaction. — Mark Warner
Mark R. Warner represents Virginia in the United States Senate. Senator Warner is the Chairman of the Senate Select…www.warner.senate.gov
Senator Mark Warner chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, one of the few congressional panels to regularly receive classified national security briefings.
“I’m very concerned that the Communist Party in China can say hey we want all that data about all those Americans, to potentially spy on people, use it against you, to blackmail, you name the possible uses that a Communist Party authoritarian regime could use if they had that much data, not just on Americans but on people all around the world that are using this app.” — Mark Warner
Earlier this year, he introduced the Restrict Act, a bill that would allow the Secretary of Commerce to ban TikTok and other foreign technologies that the government deems a risk to US security.
WIRED spoke with the coauthor of the Restrict Act, a bipartisan bill to crack down on tech from six “hostile”…www.wired.com
“China changed all its laws in 2017 and said any Chinese companys top obligation was not its customers or shareholders but the Communist Party.
So the Communist Party can ask for your data or ask for any information from any Chinese company.” — Mark Warner
This isn’t the first time the government has tried to ban TikTok.
“We’re looking at TikTok. We may be banning TikTok. We may be doing some other things or exploring a couple of options.” — Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump signed an executive order in 2020 banning it and other Chinese-affiliated technologies. But several judges blocked the order, saying Trump had overstepped his power.
In 2021, the Biden administration took a new tack and sought a compromise with TikTok to avoid a future ban.
“Well, it turns out the clock won’t stop for TikTok. President Biden has signed a new executive order voiding a Trump administration decision.”
The new order calls for a broader review of a number of foreign-controlled applications that could pose a security risk…www.nytimes.com
Things looked promising until Chinese BiteDance employees were caught using TikTok data to track the locations of two American journalists critical of the company.
So in March, the Biden administration reportedly gave TikTok an ultimatum: find an American owner or be banned. ❌ And Warner introduced his restrict act, which would give the government oversight on technology from six adversarial countries, including Russia and China.
A n internal investigation by ByteDance, the parent company of video-sharing platform TikTok, found that employees…www.forbes.com
WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice and FBI are investigating TikTok, including previously disclosed allegations…www.nbcnews.com
“So we said, let’s have a bill that will give the Secretary of Commerce a series of new tools and powers to say if there is a foreign technology that creates a national security issue from those six countries mentioned the Secretary of Commerce could do anything from limiting that application or requiring divestiture away from a Chinese company all the way up to and including banning.” — Mark Warner
More than two dozen senators have signed on in support of the bill. Even the White House is behind it, arguing that it’s the best legislative solution, but it’s not the only bill TikTok has to worry about. 👀
Congressional Republicans have introduced similar measures, leaving out the middleman, the Secretary of Commerce.
Toggle the table of contents From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The United States secretary of commerce ( SecCom) is…en.wikipedia.org
These bills direct President Biden to ban the app outright. But for the first time, some lawmakers have teamed up with TikTokers to fight against a ban.
“TikTok, as a platform, has created a community and a space for free speech. It’s also a place where 5 million small businesses are selling their products and services and making a living.” — Jamaal Bowman
The day before TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew was set to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, three Democrats joined nearly two dozen TikTok creators outside of the US Capitol for a rally. TikTok’s most influential lobbyists ended up being the creators themselves.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Shou Zi Chew ( Chinese: 周受资; pinyin: Zhōu Shòuzī; born 1 January 1983) is a…en.wikipedia.org
“TikTok’s community has become an important part of my life and has helped me connect with people from all walks of life.”
“TikTok has really been a game changer for me. It’s allowed me to reach new audiences, millions of people.”
TikTok had flown the creators into DC to show lawmakers how the app had impacted their lives.
“I’m a mental health advocate first and foremost. I use TikTok as a tool to democratize mental health education, and resources.”
”So I use superheroes and comic books for social and emotional learning and mental health for young people.”
“So I wanted Congress to see that there are people on TikTok, that this is the face of TikTok, and that if you were to ban TikTok, you would annihilate an entire community.”
But to Representative Jamal Bowman from New York and the handful of other lawmakers who disapprove of a ban say:
“Do not ban TikTok. We need it. Consider me an ally.”
The government’s attacks against the app amount to xenophobic saberrattling and a disregard for the harms perpetrated by American social media platforms.
“Let’s have a broader, more honest conversation about social media and let’s not scapegoat TikTok because they happen to be owned by a Chinese organization. In this time of heightened xenophobia since COVID.” —Jamaal Bowman
As TikTok becomes the latest target in the US government’s crackdown on Chinese-owned apps, many are wondering if the popular app will survive. Stay tuned to find out what experts are saying and how it could impact you. 😬
On March 23, all eyes were on TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew as he testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee in an attempt to demystify the app’s security practices.
“There are more than 150,000,000 Americans who love our platform, and we know we have a responsibility to protect them. Which is why I’m making the following commitments to you and to all our users:
1. Number one, we will keep safety, particularly for teenagers, as a top priority for us.
2. Number two, we will firewall-protect the United States Data from unwanted foreign access.
3. Number three: TikTok will remain a place for free expression and will not be manipulated by any government.
4. And fourth, we will be transparent, and we will give access to third-party independent monitors to remain accountable for our commitments.” — Shou Zi Chew
Little new information came out of the hearing. Lawmakers seemed entirely disinterested in Chew’s answers, often using their entire five minutes to vent their frustrations rather than receive answers to their questions.
“If the CCP demanded that ByteDance hand over all of the data that they had on US users in their possession and ByteDance refused, I wonder what would happen.” — Armstrong Vice Chair
“If there really were 150,000,000 users in the US this suggests to me that the CCP has a finger on the pulse of almost half our nation’s population.” — Pence Indiana
“TikTok is the spy in Americans pockets.” — Joyce Pennsylvania
At the end of the day’s events, it was clear that lawmakers still didn’t fully understand how TikTok and platforms like it work. 😬
“As I understand it, there’s a sister app in China called Doikin. I’m sorry if I’m butchering the pronunciation. Do they have these same things over there? Do they? Yes or no?” — Cartier Georgia
But most of them were more determined than ever before to ban it. ❌
“Mr. Chew, you are here because the American people need to know the truth about the threat TikTok poses to our national and personal security.
It’s been said it’s like giving the Soviet Union the power to produce Saturday morning cartoons during the Cold War, but much more powerful and much more dangerous. Your platform should be banned.” — Rodgers chair
For more independent perspectives on all this, let’s see two civil rights experts, David Green the civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Jenna Leventoff, a senior policy counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union.
David Greene, Senior Staff Attorney and Civil Liberties Director, has significant experience litigating First Amendment…www.eff.org
Let’s see how experts weigh in on the implications of a TikTok ban, from its impact on social media trends to the potential economic fallout!
“The concern of the US government is that US user data might flow to foreign governments.
Then banning TikTok is really just a small step that is going to do very little to address that problem because many online services, including social media services and other services, collect a lot of US data and then make that data available to data brokers, who then sell it on open markets and among the people who buy it on open markets are foreign governments, including our adversaries.” — David Green
Most anyone can buy large amounts of American data from brokers whose only real alliance is with whoever offers them the most money. That means foreign governments with intent on harming the US can already access our data. But is there enough evidence showing that TikTok is making this problem worse?
“I wish the government would come out and say that we’ve done a national security analysis, that we’ve reached this inclusion, and here’s the reason we’ve reached this conclusion, and here’s the information we have. We can’t tell you everything, but we’re going to tell you as much as we can.
I wish the government would do that, but we don’t get that. As far as we know, members of Congress have not received that.” — David Green
If what lawmakers fear most is data security, a broader bill protecting user data could fix a lot of the problems every tech company has, not just TikTok. But critics have begun to speculate that lawmakers are more concerned with China’s rise as a global superpower than the threats posed by a popular app. 👀
“I think that Congress has decided that they want to look tough on China, and they have made TikTok the poster child for that.
Back in the 1950s, we saw people come down hard against communism, it was politically popular to stifle speech if it was related to someone who held communist values.
People today don’t look favorably upon the McCarthy era and I think if we’re looking into the future, people aren’t going to look favorably upon this either.” — Jenna Leventoff
The McCarthy Era was marked by dramatic accusations that communists had infiltrated the highest levels of American…www.thoughtco.com
Under current law, this is what we have right now would it even be constitutional to ban an app like TikTok❓👀
“No, absolutely not. It would be a violation of the First Amendment.” — Jenna Leventoff
TikTok does pose a threat to users safety and security of their data, but so do all social media platforms. The collection, dissemination, and use of someone’s sensitive information, their likes, dislikes, and the time they spend watching a video, can be used to harm individuals and whole communities of people in the past. ✔️
But without meaningful evidence that TikTok has inflicted more harm than Facebook or Instagram, a ban could do more to chill free speech on the Internet than protect the safety of American users.
“We’re not just talking about banning TikTok here, we are talking about setting a precedent for banning an entire app that people use for protected speech from operating in this country. And it enables it to happen again and again and again.” — Jenna Leventoff
Beyond the outraged lawmakers intent on banning the app, Bowman and others have started building a coalition to keep the app online. But even with this new found support, the next few months will be consequential for TikTok’s future.
If lawmakers are unable to pass a ban before the end of the year, their 2024 reelection campaigns may ruin any chance of getting it done. And it doesn’t look like ByteDance is ready to give up its ownership to an American company any time soon. 👊
Resources / further reading:
On March 23rd, the House Energy and Commerce Committee conducted a hearing with the CEO of TikTok, Shou Chew, focused…techpolicy.press
What’s your opinion about this? Are you using Tik Tok for you or your Business? 👀
What’s next? Facebook?
- All images are provided by the author ✅
TikTok | Ban | Data | Application | People | Society | Government | American | Lawmakers | Security | China | Social media | Communist Party | Free Speech | Restriction | Users
Image concepts developed by the author
🚀 The Unofficial TikTok 101: Questions You Didn’t Know You Had 🚀
Hey fam! 🤙 Ever find yourself deep in the TikTok rabbit hole at 2 AM, and suddenly you’re pondering the mysteries of the universe—or at least the mysteries of TikTok? 🌌
Well, you’re in the right spot. Buckle up and let’s unravel this digital enigma one Q at a time.
1. The OG Days of TikTok 🕰️
Q: How did TikTok start?
A: Ah, let’s rewind! 🔄 Back in 2016, a Chinese app named Douyin became all the rage. Fast forward to 2017, and it got a glow-up, reborn as TikTok for everyone outside of China. Imagine Beyoncé, but if she had a twin who was a social media app. 🐝
Q: When did TikTok become hella popular?
A: It hit the global scene in 2018. By merging with Musical.ly, TikTok got its groove on and began dancing its way into our hearts (and screens). 🕺💃
Q: Who’s pulling the strings behind TikTok?
A: TikTok is the brainchild of ByteDance, a tech giant from China. Picture Elon Musk of the East, but less about rockets and more about viral dance trends. 🚀
2. All About The TikTok Features 📱
Q: Are TikTok videos copyrighted?
A: Here’s the 411: Just ’cause it’s on the ‘Tok, doesn’t mean it’s free for the taking. Think of it as a buffet: it’s all out there, but you can’t just pack it up and sell it elsewhere. Always give credit, folks! ✌️
🔥 Insider Tip: If you’re vibing with a song on TikTok, but you’re unsure about copyright? Stick to using it on the platform. Don’t try and snag it for your next YouTube vid.
Q: And what about those catchy TikTok sounds?
A: Same deal, pal. TikTok sounds may have that shareable vibe, but they’re not free game. 🎶
Sharing is caring, but stealing is…well, not so appealing!
Q: How does the TikTok algorithm even work?
A: Ah, the million-dollar question! 🤑 Imagine the algorithm as that picky friend who somehow always knows the best spots to hang out. It gauges your interests, your interactions, and the time you spend drooling over a video to give you a primo feed.
📌 Takeaway: Engage authentically, and the TikTok gods shall reward thee.
3. Keeping It Safe in TikTok Town 🛡️
Q: Are TikTok reports anonymous?
A: You betcha! It’s like leaving a note in the office suggestion box. No one knows you begged for more donuts. 🍩
Q: Can TikTok track you?
A: I mean, it’s not like there’s a TikTok agent outside your window (at least I hope not 🕵️♂️). But like many apps, it collects user data. Keep that tinfoil hat handy, just in case.
Q: Is TikTok peeking at my stuff? Can they spy on me?
A: While TikTok has access to standard data, it’s not watching your every move. Relax, your secret dance practice sessions are safe. Unless you accidentally hit upload, of course. 😂
4. Making Those 💰 Moves on TikTok
Q: Can TikTok pay you?
A: Oh, for sure! Enter the TikTok Creator Fund. Once you’re big time (10k followers and 100k video views in the last 30 days), you can earn moolah based on performance. 💸
Q: How does TikTok shop work?
A: Picture an online mall where you can directly buy that sick hoodie you just saw in a vid. Browse, click, purchase. E-commerce on steroids! 🛍️
📘 How-To: To get started, businesses need to set up a TikTok Shop account. Then, it’s all about adding product listings and rolling in the dough!
5. TikTok & You: Impact on the Mind, Body, and Soul 🧠
Q: Can TikTok cause ADHD?
A: Okay, so linking TikTok directly to ADHD is a stretch, but excessive screen time? It can mess with your attention span. Balance, my friend. It’s not just for yogis. 🧘♀️
Q: How’s TikTok on the ol’ noggin? Mental health and all that?
A: It’s a double-edged sword. On one side, the creativity and connection can give you all the warm fuzzies. On the flip, comparison and FOMO can be real party poopers. 😒 Keep it in check!
6. The Fun Stuff: TikTok Trends, Filters & More! 🌈
Q: What TikTok trends are shaking things up right now?
A: Bruh, they change faster than I can scarf down a taco. 🌮 But keep an eye on the ‘Discover’ tab, and you’ll be in the know.
Q: Which TikTok filter detects illness?
A: Wait, what?! As cool as that sounds, there’s no magical filter (yet). And if you’re feeling off, maybe hit up a doc and not an app, yeah? 🩺
7. A Look Into The Crystal Ball: TikTok’s Future 🔮
Q: Will TikTok be banned in the future?
A: The app has danced on thin ice before, but predicting bans is above my pay grade. It’s like asking if pineapples on pizza will ever be universally accepted. 🍍🍕
Q: Will TikTok replace YouTube?
A: It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Or more like comparing 60-second dance videos with 3-hour makeup tutorials. Both have their place, ya know? 🤷
Conclusion 🎤 Drop:
There you have it—TikTok demystified! Next time someone asks you a TikTok trivia, drop some of this knowledge and watch them be shooketh.
Until then, keep scrolling, keep dancing, and remember: life’s too short for bad vibes. Peace out! ✌️💖
Note: The above is a playful and comprehensive take on the FAQs, sprinkled with a pinch of creativity, a dash of humor, and served with a side of information. Always refer to official sources for definitive answers. 📘
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