TikTok’s Possible Ban

Photo from cbsnews.com

Floating around the internet the past couple of weeks is talk about the potential ban of the app TikTok. The app, that about 150 million Americans use daily, is one of the most famous apps of modern day culture. It has information and content for every topic from dancing to cooking or even political videos. TikTok is an app where everyone can see everything and have an opinion about anyone, which makes it the epitome of freedom of speech. Now it seems like all of a sudden the app that people spend hours a day on has the possibility of being banned. 

Why is this happening now?

Recently, the chief executive of TikTok, Shou Chew, spoke to Congress and faced questions about the privacy concerns of the app. There are fears within the government that the company that owns TikTok, ByteDance, is a security threat and is selling customer information to China. President Biden has been putting pressure on ByteDance to sell TikTok to an American company or face the risk of banning the platform. 

Photo from cbsnews.com
How do people feel about the ban?

There seems to be a growing consensus among young people that TikTok should not be banned. Teens heavily rely on TikTok for communication and information, even more than the news. TikTok has become the news for younger generations. It allows people to see videos from other countries and learn about what’s going on in the world more easily and in a more visual format. Teens feel that banning TikTok is a personal attack on their freedom of speech. To take away the platform would be to take away information, which is why banning the app would be a challenge to the first amendment. 

How would banning TikTok affect influencer culture?
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People love to watch videos on TikTok almost as much as people love making them. TikTok influencers can blow up in popularity with just one entertaining video. These influencers tend to be popular for niche ideas and content. Part of what makes the app so popular is because you can find people with similar unique interests as you. Without access to these influencers that we would only be able to find through the TikTok algorithm, the business of influencers would fall apart. Small businesses also benefit from TikTok because the app can be used to promote themselves and their products. In the current economy, it is extraordinarily difficult for smaller businesses to promote themselves against big companies such as Amazon. TikTok’s platform gives these smaller companies a bit of power and influence in a culture that values big corporations. 

Do you think TikTok should be banned? Tag us @VALLEYmag what you think!


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