Everything You Need To Know About the TikTok Ban in the U.S.
The world has gotten used to its daily dose of TikTok videos. No harm ever came from a cat falling off a ledge or a person getting drunk and making a fool of themselves. While all of this may not be threatening to individuals, the government feels like it is a threat to the nation.
Why Does the U.S. Want to Ban TikTok?
TikTok was originally called Musical.ly, an American app. It was purchased in 2017 by a Chinese company called ByteDance. People gained world-wide popularity from dance and cooking videos and all sorts of viral content shared on TikTok.
In 2019, Peterson Institute for International Economics, an American think tank, found that TikTok had the ability to send data back to its parent company, ByteDance, located in China. Later in the year, Senators Chuck Schumer, Tom Cotton, and Marco Rubi, asked the government to investigate TikTok.
The next two presidents, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, also investigated TikTok and were looking to ban it. An executive order during Trump’s era claimed that data collection by TikTok helped Chinese Communist Parties to gain valuable American information. This would supposedly pave the way for China to easily conduct espionage and track government employees.
Emily Baker-White, an investigative journalist, also uncovered a few examples of ByteDance employees involved in surveillance on her and another associate. However, not all experts agree about the extent of the involvement of the Chinese government. Some claim that there is not sufficient confirmation of TikTok using data for Chinese political gain.
Is TikTok a Threat?
Whether TikTok is a threat to national security may never be proven, it is a threat to American owned companies that are trying to copy TikTok. Some activists, however, claim that banning TikTok is a violation of the First Amendment.
While Joe Biden has dropped all Trump’s attempts to ban TikTok, the app is still being investigated. Although the app is banned on all government devices, they can still use TikTok on their personal devices. The University of Mississippi has also banned the app on the institution’s WiFi and official devices, however, students use another WiFi connection or cellular plan to access it.
Although the U.S. is looking to ban TikTok for various political reasons, it may not happen completely. Watch this space for more as this story develops.Advertisement