Over the past months, President Trump has threatened to ban TikTok, a popular social media app that allows users to watch, create, and share videos.
The president’s executive orders argue TikTok must be prohibited from the U.S. market due to national security concerns, fearing China may have access to the personal information of countless Americans. TikTok is a US subsidiary of the Chinese corporation, Bytedance. American software company, Oracle, is trying to become TikTok’s cloud provider.
How will the potential ban affect those who utilize the mainstream app?
“I feel that Trump wanting to ban the app is a little far-fetched. From what I know, a TikTok spokesperson has provided evidence that all user data is stored on servers located in America. It is interesting to note how we have proof of Facebook selling one’s personal information to other companies, yet there has not been any talk about banning that app,” said Guy Lerario, 33, of Levittown.
“Personally, if the application turns out to be a risk towards national security then yes, it needs to be banned. Considering the absence in concrete evidence, removing TikTok would infringe on a person’s first amendment rights.”
It is no secret that the app is widely popular among younger generations, particularly Gen Z, yearning to become “TikTok famous.”
“The app has made a safe space for individuals of all age groups to produce entertaining content. I may not make videos, but I catch myself scrolling for hours. During times like this, TikTok keeps us connected with one another without any restrictions. I think the trends that tend to grow popular are repetitive on occasion. A few of them are enjoyable. Although, content creators need to acknowledge their younger audiences and be cautious of what they are posting. Videos that are considered inappropriate, little children can be influenced. Other than that, I have no problems with the app,” said Darlington Ibe, 19, criminal justice major.
Dance and comedy challenges, episodic skits, and several more trends are some of the most popular content coming from the app.
Though TikTok has amassed such a huge audience in a short amount of time, there are still some people who don’t enjoy the app, and miss the former app it essentially replaced.
“I do not like TikTok too much because it is a bit cringe to me. A lot of people blow up over making hand gestures and moving their arms. It also tries to give off a Vine appeal, but that was its own thing. Nothing will replace Vine,” said Bucks student Hunter Sleppy.
Before its end in 2017, Vine was a social networking platform in which people posted short 7-second looping video clips.
Alexa Schaefer-VanSchaik, 19, nursing major, finds TikTok to be too sexualized for kids.
“The app itself is not something I want to waste my time on. Kids are being exposed to videos that can come off a little obscene. Also, watching others do silly dances does not sound like anything I might partake in either. Genuinely, I do not mean to be a hater, I just find joy in doing things that are productive,” VanSchaik said.
It is obvious that TikTok has such a big following and online presence, so losing the app would be another social media site biting the dust. In stressful times like this, TikTok has brought comfort to people all around the world.
As of now, Trump has a ban date set for Sep. 27 that will remove the app from the App Store, and TikTok has asked judges to block the date as a last attempt to save the app.