The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

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Bucks Students React To TikTok Ban

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Considering the recent push to ban TikTok in the U.S., Bucks students share their opinion on whether or not TikTok should be banned.

TikTok first came out in 2016, growing in popularity worldwide, reaching over 1 billion users, where 150 million users alone are in the U.S. The Trump administration tried to ban TikTok, but now, the Biden administration has given ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, an ultimatum, to sell the app or face a nationwide ban.

Congress believes TikTok is too addictive, spreads violence and misinformation and suspects that China’s Communist Party has unlimited access to sensitive U.S. data.

A complete ban on TikTok has been approved in Montana, and Government officials cannot use TikTok on their devices.

There is a mix of students’ opinions on banning TikTok. Carlos Garcia, 19, a psychology major, believes that “TikTok is spyware that uses and sells your data. It should not be banned, but regulated through a filtration system for children and other users because some inappropriate videos are making it through the system.”

Maddie Clemens, 18, an event party planning major, thought TikTok should not be banned and that “the U.S. government is trying to make it look like TikTok is tracking us, but they’re not. We get our news from TikTok, and the government does not want us to know the truth because it makes them look bad.”

Dylan Derstine, 17, is a high school student who simultaneously attends Bucks and majors in Computer Science. He believes that “TikTok is very addicting, but I do not believe it is tracking us. It would be a violation of the Constitution to ban it.”

Several of the proposed bills to ban TikTok violate the U.S. First Amendment. TikTok is an information source that around 150 million Americans use to share their thoughts and opinions online.

People should be allowed to post or watch videos on TikTok since free speech protects it. Madina Waziri, 19, a cybersecurity major at Bucks, says “TikTok should be banned because the app is tracking Americans, and there are better things to do with your time than be on TikTok.”

Waziri adds, “China has more educational videos than the U.S., taking us away from education and leaving us addicted.” Every social media app gathers user information and sells it for profit. YouTube, Facebook and Instagram do the same thing TikTok does.

The United States Government claims they are concerned about TikTok because ByteDance is a Chinese company that is required to turn data over to the Chinese Government. TikTok has suggested a change in how they manage data, though, Project Texas would leave all American TikTok data in America, not China.

Would banning TikTok do much to stop China from getting our data or the younger generation from becoming addicted to social media? Likely not. However, if the U.S. managed to pass a ban on TikTok nationwide, it is not clear how officials would enforce the ban.