TikTok SHOULD Be Banned

Mason West, Columnist

  TikTok, a social media app that is used for entertainment, has become widely popular in the U.S, and is used by 150 million Americans, according to The New York Times. The app is owned by a Chinese company called ByteDance LTD. Many Americans fear that private American information may be shared to the Chinese government without approval. With the United States and China competing for world power, many U.S. legislators are pushing for a ban on TikTok. TikTok should be banned because it poses a threat to U.S. national security and will help protect users’ privacy.  

  One of the primary concerns with TikTok is that it is owned by a Chinese company. As a result, many Americans have concerns that the Chinese government could use the app to access user data or engage in censorship or propaganda. For example, some information that could be gained include information on the user’s location, contacts and other important data. Although TikTok claims they do not share information with the Chinese government, 88 percent of Americans have no trust in Chinese social media companies, according to the Pew Research Center. With little trust among Americans, a ban on TikTok is necessary because it poses a threat to national security as it potentially allows for the tracking of data among government officials and large companies. 

  Many questions arise as to whether the U.S. government has the right to ban TikTok. According to NPR, in 2020, former President Donald Trump signed an executive order that would ban TikTok from American users, but it ultimately did not go through because of freedom and legal repercussions involved. Recently, countries like India have banned TikTok with more to follow with concerns of national security threats. Ultimately, the U.S. government has the right to ban social media apps if there are issues that threaten the wellbeing of its citizens. The government has the responsibility to protect citizens which includes regulating the activities of foreign companies and individuals operating within the country.

  Given these concerns, it is clear that TikTok poses a threat to the democracy of the U.S. and should be banned. While some argue that banning TikTok would be an overreaction or violation of free speech, the potential risk to national security and public safety outweigh the entertainment purpose of the app. A ban on TikTok would send a strong message to China that the U.S. government will protect the American people at any cost.