| Change the Nation | Promote Equality | Inspire Passion
TikTok is a social media app that was launched in 2016, and allows users to create and share videos. The app has become popular worldwide, and promotes a wide range of content, including lip-syncing, dancing, and other forms of creative expression. The app serves as a platform for newer creators to show their talents and reach out to a huge audience. TikTok has played a significant part in introducing viral trends and popularizing new music, fashion, and makeup. As of 2023, the app has over 1 billion active users.
However the app has caused controversy in some countries. Parents claim that TikTok causes a child’s attention span to lower, and it causes children to be more addicted to their phone’s. There have also been concerns that the app promotes harmful content and misinformation about current events. The main issue facing TikTok is its ongoing censorship and data privacy issues because TikTok is owned by Chinese company ByteDance. This has raised concerns that the Chinese government may have access to private information from millions of people. As a result, many countries have passed laws banning the app.
The United States is no stranger to attempting TikTok. Former President Donald Trump attempted to ban the app. He claimed it was because of national security concerns, and the Chinese government could gain personal information and spy on American citizens. He also argued the app censored conservative content and was biased towards his campaign. Trump signed two executive orders in his attempt to prohibit the app. The first required ByteDance to sell its company to a US one in 45 days or else TikTok would be banned. He later signed another order 8 days later requiring ByteDance to transfer ownership to a company in the US in 90 days. On September 18, 2020, the Department of Commerce issued an order banning TikTok on app stores starting September 20. However, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction, blocking the order.
Two years later, the same concerns are appearing by the Biden administration. In December 2022, President Biden signed a law prohibiting the app on federal government devices. Earlier this year, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew was questioned by Congress. Chew claimed that the Chinese government has never asked for the data of US users and all data from American users are controlled by US personnel.
Despite all the concerns and issues, TikTok still remains to be the most popular social media app. Around the world millions of users use the app to promote their content or just to casually scroll through the app.