TikTok Ban

Aleise Robertson, Forum Writer

The social media app TikTok has become known around the world for popular trends and audios that have emerged from it. TikTok allows people to connect in a different way than ever before, but now that could all disappear. 


The potential banning of TikTok may seem eerily familiar. During the Trump administration, TikTok was threatened once before. Federal officials once again are trying to force the Chinese-owned company to sell to a US corporation or TikTok could potentially be banned in the US.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) was responsible for the initial push for the app to be sold to US owners. The CFIUS is in charge of monitoring the foreign investments and transactions of US countries. CFIUS has previously forced the sale of the app Grindr to be sold from Chinese ownership to the US.


Many concerns about the social media site are centered around the idea,  the Chinese government and companies have access to user data. China has many national security protocols limiting this, but the issue is there is no way to regulate whether the protocols are being followed.


TikTok had previously created a US-based team to provide more confidence in the safety of the app. TikTok has even taken steps to host US data on servers run by the US company Oracle. 


Numerous bans have begun to be put in place on the app. President Joe Biden signed a 4,126-page bill that prohibits the use of TikTok on any agency-owned devices. Some state bans have also been instated, these bans do not all only apply to government officials but to some students or users of campus wifi as well.

Shou Chew, the C.E.O. of TikTok faced many hours of interrogation over the security concerns, and now it is brought into question if a ban on the app could be contesting the first amendment rights in the US. 


Recently the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a bill on Joe Biden that would require him to ban TikTok nationwide if the app was found to be a significant risk to US security. 


Another potential bill was then released by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner and South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune that would require the identification of potential threats or issues with technology and to deal with those specifically instead.


The TikTok trial and the proposed ban of TikTok have caused controversy, especially throughout younger communities such as High Schoolers. 


Abigail Barquist a TikTok user said,


“To my knowledge, they aren’t stealing anything important so if it’s working now and nothing has gone horribly wrong, then why change it?”


In the Skyline community, hundreds of students have active accounts on TikTok to create videos or to scroll through the app, and they will all feel the effects of the ban if passed.


Hayley Mohr, a Student at Skyline, created a platform for herself, she was able to express her interests on her account and ended up going viral for it. Mohr’s viral videos were a compilation of celebrity photos used to replicate popular trends at the time. 


“It [her most viewed video] is like my prized possession, I’m really proud of it.” Mohr says, “I worked really hard to get so many views on my videos because I really wanted to go viral on TikTok, and now I have about 10 videos with over 1M views.”


Mohr has 17.9K followers on Tiktok and her most viewed video has 5.1M views and more than 500,000 likes on it. 


If TikTok is banned in the United States creators like Mohr will lose something very valuable to them, but not only creators will be affected, the thousands of teen users in the US will lose a major social media app and feel the effects for better or for worse. 


“If they banned it I would be sad for a little bit, I’m on the app a lot which isn’t very good, but I think I would get over it and move on.” Barquist says, “I think it will be detrimental at first since everyone will be kind of restless, but after that, it could be a positive thing.”


Since TikTok has had such a major impact, especially in the lives of teens, if it is banned it will be felt throughout the nation.

Read more about the trial and potential ban of TikTok on other News sites such as the New York Times.