It wasn’t too long ago that TikTok came to the U.S., but the press surrounding the video sharing app has been littered with controversy after controversy. First, there were safety concerns relating to user data being accessible by the Chinese government. Although I find it very dubious that TikTok, the viral app where millions of teens post comedy skits set to snappy music hooks will be the end of the United States of America.
Even with the many allegations that TikTok is a threat to national security, there was not much response from the public about this privacy issue. Even as an avid TikTok user, junior education major Katie Szymkiewicz said she “knew nothing about the allegations surrounding TikTok,” though if the service were to be discontinued, she “would be sad because [she] loved TikTok.”
My guess is that with the U.S. history of privacy invasions, people have become desensitized to hearing information about how once again their information is being leaked, even though it is dangerous. It wasn’t until President Trump’s attempt to ban TikTok was there public outrage, especially from the younger generations. There are so many viral hashtags, including #tiktokban, #bantrump, #savetiktok and so many videos on how to use TikTok in the event that it is banned.
It isn’t surprising that people are outraged over the possible TikTok ban, because to many, TikTok isn’t just a place to watch funny videos. It is a place to learn, explore other cultures and to earn money. Charli D’Amelio, one of the major faces of TikTok, earns about $48,000 per post while influencer Loren Gray earns $42,000 per post.
If the TikTok ban were to go through, Trump will be depriving many people of a way to earn money, especially the college dropouts and people who lost their jobs due to Covid.
On Aug. 6, Trump used his emergency economic powers to issue an executive order that will block the app from being used in the U.S.. The use of emergency economic powers is the beginning of the third controversy. There are numerous allegations that Trump is using TikTok to convince voters that he is tough on China as the election draws nearer. With constant attacks by Trump and the new 45-day deadline on TikTok, TikTok finally had enough and sued Trump.
TikTok felt that the verdict of the ban was unfair and thus felt necessary to sue Trump on the ground of unfair due process, and a lack in Trump’s legal side to provide evidence of TikTok being a national threat.
Many people feel that TikTok is being unfairly treated, especially when compared to the major privacy protocols that companies like Facebook have faced. There is much to be debated on Trump’s ban and TikTok’s response through suing Trump; the question on everyone’s mind is who will win, and honestly I have a feeling that no matter who wins, there will be a loss of some sort for American citizens. Because if Trump wins, then there will be no TikTok, but if TikTok wins and the allegations of spying are true then, then people lose their privacy. It’s a lose-lose for TikTok and its millions of users.