US Politicians Try To Ban TikTok

Credited by: Hannah Hausch

Credited by: Hannah Hausch

Hannah Hausch, Reporter

The popular social media app, TikTok, has been put into consideration in being banned in the United States. The China-based company, ByteDance, currently owns TikTok. Lawmakers express their concerns about the security threat that reaches out nationally, containing people’s information. Not only is this the case, but it is informed by U.S. Legislators that the Chinese government spies on users and provides misinformation on trending news stories. TikTok encountered multiple lawsuits from families who have argued that the app endorses kids to inherit eating disorders. False information about nutrition and weight loss on TikTok can be some of the causes for users’ eating disorders. 

Eric Kendall, a 10th grader at Briar Woods High School, expresses his opinion about the issue of banning TikTok. He says, “I think it is very likely [that it] all ends up being a bluff… It’s been since…2019.” Now that the government has new bills, they can ban TikTok, but to do so, they must go through the Restrict Act successfully. Kendall goes on to say that “the news has always had a way of exaggerating issues…TikTok seems to me to be just another empty promise…to me, if it was going to get banned, it was going to happen the first time the issue was pushed.” 

An 11th grader at Briar Woods says “yeah, I’d say it does [spread more misinformation than other platforms.] Everyone uses Tiktok, so when they see something there, a lot of people check if it’s true on actual news sites.” The 11th grader views the ban as “dramatic” and that “the app [is] so positive.” 

Difficulties in banning TikTok have carried on throughout the years. According to TechTarget, Sarah Kelp, director of the Cornell Tech Policy Institute, explains, “Because the Chinese are getting so proficient at addictive app development, you’re going to have another one pop up tomorrow. Then you need new legislation for that.” Kelp continues, stating, “It would be very messy and bulky to try to ensure compliance on something that’s so encompassing and integrated into everything individuals and companies do every day.” In addition, such a law, like the Restriction Act, can create issues for the federal government and Apple. Favorite apps, including TikTok, originate from China, making Apple hesitant to remove them from the App Store. 

Briar Woods High School students have countless opinions about the ban on TikTok. The anonymous 11th grader concludes by saying that “though banning TikTok would make a lot of people upset, overall it would really increase productivity in class as students wouldn’t be so distracted. It would positively impact my mental health. Social media is really toxic, and taking a break [from it] would be good for me.”