Trump tries to terminate TikTok

Amanda Dennis, News Writer

On August 6,2020, President Trump and his administration announced in an Executive Order they would be banning the popular social media app, TikTok, after suspicions that the app creators are using the user’s information to spy on Americans.  

TikTok is a free downloadable app for electronic devices. The app allows people to create and post short, shareable videos in which they can express themselves and their interests with like-minded people, as well as capture individuals’ creativity. It is most known for the popular dances and trends that it has set with many young people, who make up the majority of the app’s users.  

As of July 2020, 32.5 percent of TikTok users are 10-19 years old followed by 29.5 percent ages 20-29 years, according to Statista.  

The company that owns TikTok, ByteDance, is located in China and after anonymous rumors circulated that the app stores information that could ultimately be used to blackmail American citizens, it became apparent that this could become a threat to the national security of the United States. During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump narrowed in on the reports concerning TikTok and stated that unless the app was bought out by a US based company by September 15, 2020, there would be a nationwide ban on the app.  

“Specifically, the spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned by companies in the People’s Republic of China continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.” said President Trump in his Executive Order. “At this time, action must be taken to address the threat posed by one mobile application in particular, TikTok.”   

The US senate has already approved a ban stating the app cannot be used by any federal employees on their government-issued devices in fear of sensitive information being leaked. For the rest of the public, however, the app is still open for everyone to use for the time being.  

There were two main contenders in the running to buy TikTok, Microsoft and Oracle, both US based corporations. For weeks Microsoft had back and forth conversations with ByteDance discussing deals and terms of the purchase and seemed to be the favorite to take over. Ultimately Oracle and ByteDance reached an agreement when they refused Microsoft’s offer.  

However, before the deal can be confirmed it must get approved by the US government, the hearing in which that will be discussed is going to be held on September 27 according to the US Department of Commerce. 

This ban would affect many young people in America because TikTok is one of the most popular apps out there right now, nearly everyone has it or at least knows about it.  

“I’m addicted to the app and can’t go a day without it. It makes me laugh when I need so I love it” said Gabby Maya, 12. 

TikTok means a lot to many students at North. It is somewhere they can go and see what’s trending and find funny relatable videos. Due to TikToks algorithm, it shows you videos that are in your same interests based off the posts you like and the hashtags on those posts.  

Another senior at North, Rachel Alexander, said “It’s an addiction and an outlet where I can destress.”  

It’s a platform for individuality and comedy to flourish but at the same time it brings people together that would have otherwise never met and shows that there are a lot of people that share common ideologies.  

For many users, the talk of a ban is unnecessary because the app by nature uses information about you to group you with likeminded people and only really got national attention when it was used to boycott a Trump rally in Tulsa during June 2020.  

“Thousands of people reserved seats (free) at a Trump Rally and when it occurred no one showed up because the seats were taken,” said Lilly Brown, 11, about why the President believes that app is an issue.  

“I think the ban has little to do with spies and more with how the Presidents feelings got hurt due to the app” stated Gabby Maya, 12.  

On the other hand, Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Rick Scott of Florida, who were the ones to introduce the “No TikTok on Government Devices Act” believe that in order to be completely safe the app should be banned for everyone because by law, ByteDance is required to share user information with Beijing.  

“As many of our federal agencies have recognized, TikTok is a major security risk to the United States and has no place on government devices.” Stated Hawley to the Senate while proposing the “No TikTok on Government Devices Act.”  

The debate on whether the app should be banned completely is still an ongoing political issue with two very opposing arguments about whether it’s a legitimate threat to the US or just another social media app for recreational purposes.