Over this summer, there was talk that the popular social media platform TikTok would be banned by the Trump administration. It wasn’t until August 6 that the country had a estimated date of when this ban would take place.
This ban caused a lot of controversy within the country, as this application is widely popular amongst both young and older people. News outlets like The New York Times have been covering this ongoing story since the beginning.
“A wholesale ban will undoubtedly trigger retaliation and may contribute to the type of fracturing of the internet that we have witnessed in recent years” Director of the Citizen Lab, Ron Deibert said.
TikTok, originally known as Musical.ly, is a social media site that allows its users to create 15, 30, or 60 second videos over anything, using their own audio or sounds already on the platform. If someone doesn’t feel like creating their own content, they can watch videos that others make and the app can detect what videos someone enjoys the most and it suggests creators that share similar interests.
This ban has caused an uproar of emotions from young adults, who are the majority of the users on the app. Due to the global pandemic also occurring at the same time, TikTok has became a safe haven of some sorts for some users during this difficult time.
Sophomore Jada George explains how the app has helped her see what truly is going on in the world through different creators’ point of views. “TikTok has honestly helped me in a lot of ways. It’s help me see what’s really going on in the world and encourages and inspires me to do something about it. As problematic as it (TikTok) can be, it has helped me express myself freely and introduced me to users with similar interests and overall has made me feel more accepted and valid than ever” George said.
TikTok has been a platform for young adults to express themselves and connect with other users online, especially in a time where hanging with people is not ideal. Although many can argue that the “bullying” outweighs the positivity, this is expected with any social media site, and it’s the matter of finding creators and other users that promote kindness and support one another.
“While there are the usual trolls and haters, you’re going to get that anywhere. There are so many creative and diverse people who are constantly raising each other up that it’s hard not to feel the love at some point. I’ve heard stories of people being able to come out about their gender and sexuality or gain the strength to do some other life changing thing because the people on TikTok are so supportive and it’s honestly amazing to see” George said.
This ban is causing others to wonder what the future of applications could look like. Junior Taya Baker goes on to explain how she doesn’t believe there will be a change with other apps that can be downloaded.
“If an app were to gain as big as a following like TikTok, there’s a chance that the app could be banned as well but smaller apps should be fine, especially if they are ran in America. However, for apps that operate outside of the country, I could see some being banned or at least have restrictions on them, as it could be security issue” Baker said.
With September 20 being the 45 day that the Trump Administration gave the TikTok creators, ByteDance, to come up with an American company to buy/partner with the app, the supposed ban is once again moved back until the 27 of this month. American companies, Oracle and Walmart, are the main two companies partaking in the the bidding with TikTok.
Trump Administration announced that Oracle and Walmart will now partner together to run TikTok here in America.