Why Is Tiktok Getting Banned In The Us?

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Jessie Rei

· 5 min read

Anakin AI)

Why is TikTok Getting Banned in the US?

TikTok, the wildly popular short-form video app, has found itself at the center of a growing controversy in the United States. Amid concerns over data privacy and national security, the US government has taken steps to potentially ban the app, citing its Chinese ownership and the potential for the Chinese government to access user data. As the debate surrounding TikTok’s future in the US continues to unfold, it’s crucial to understand the underlying issues and the implications of a potential ban. This blog post will delve into the reasons behind the proposed TikTok ban, the legal and political landscape, and the broader implications for the tech industry and the American public.

What is the Problem with TikTok?

TikTok, the popular social media platform, has been the subject of growing concerns and controversies in the United States. The primary issue with TikTok is the potential national security threat it poses due to its ownership by a Chinese company, ByteDance. The app’s extensive data collection practices, which include gathering information such as user location, browsing history, and even biometric data, have raised alarm bells among U.S. officials and lawmakers.

The concern is that this data could be accessed and potentially misused by the Chinese government, which has a history of leveraging technology companies for surveillance and espionage purposes. This has led to fears that TikTok could be used to gather intelligence on U.S. citizens, influence public opinion, or even manipulate the content that users see, posing a threat to national security and democratic processes.

Additionally, there are concerns about the app’s content moderation practices, with allegations that TikTok has censored or suppressed content that is critical of the Chinese government or its policies. This has led to accusations of the platform being used as a tool for propaganda and the spread of misinformation.

Is TikTok Owned by China?

Yes, TikTok is owned by a Chinese company, ByteDance. ByteDance is a major technology conglomerate based in Beijing, and it acquired the musical.ly app in 2017, which was then rebranded as TikTok.

While TikTok has a separate entity, TikTok Inc., that is headquartered in the United States, the app’s parent company, ByteDance, is still based in China and subject to the country’s laws and regulations. This has raised concerns about the Chinese government’s potential influence over the platform and its data.

How Long Does China Have to Sell TikTok?

In August 2020, former U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order that gave ByteDance 90 days to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations or face a ban in the country. This deadline was later extended to September 2021 by the Biden administration.

However, the sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations has faced several delays and legal challenges. In September 2020, ByteDance reached a deal with Oracle and Walmart to create a new U.S.-based company called TikTok Global, but the deal was never finalized. The Biden administration has since paused the enforcement of the TikTok ban, and the future of the app’s ownership in the U.S. remains uncertain.

What Bill is the TikTok Ban?

The TikTok ban in the U.S. is not a single, standalone bill, but rather a series of legislative and executive actions aimed at addressing the perceived national security threats posed by the app.

The main legislative effort is the “Protecting Americans’ Data from Chinese Surveillance Act,” introduced in the U.S. Senate in 2020. This bill would prohibit the use of TikTok and other social media apps owned by companies based in or influenced by China on government devices and networks.

Additionally, the U.S. House of Representatives has introduced the “Deterring America’s Technological Adversaries Act,” which would give the president the authority to ban or restrict the use of foreign-owned apps, including TikTok, if they are deemed a national security threat.

These bills, along with the executive orders issued by former President Trump and the ongoing legal and regulatory battles, have all contributed to the ongoing efforts to ban or restrict the use of TikTok in the United States.

Three Solutions to the TikTok Ban

  1. Increased Transparency and Oversight: One potential solution to the TikTok ban is to implement stricter transparency and oversight measures for the app’s data collection and content moderation practices. This could include requiring TikTok to undergo regular audits by independent third-party security firms, as well as providing more detailed information about its data storage and handling practices to U.S. authorities.

  2. Divestment and Domestic Ownership: Another solution could be for ByteDance to fully divest its ownership of TikTok’s U.S. operations, allowing the app to be owned and operated by a U.S.-based company. This would alleviate concerns about Chinese government influence and provide more robust regulatory oversight.

  3. Reciprocal Restrictions: The U.S. government could also consider implementing reciprocal restrictions on Chinese-owned social media and technology platforms operating in the United States, similar to the actions taken against TikTok. This could help to create a more level playing field and incentivize China to address U.S. concerns about data privacy and national security.

Ultimately, the TikTok ban reflects the broader geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China, and any resolution will likely require a nuanced approach that balances national security concerns with the need to promote innovation and free expression on social media platforms.

Here is a 1-paragraph conclusion in Markdown format for a blog post about why TikTok is getting banned in the US:

The potential ban of TikTok in the US is a complex and multifaceted issue, with concerns over data privacy, national security, and the influence of foreign powers. While the app’s popularity and cultural impact are undeniable, the US government’s scrutiny of TikTok’s ties to China and the potential risks it poses have led to calls for its prohibition. As the debate continues, it’s crucial for users, policymakers, and tech companies to find a balanced approach that protects individual privacy and national interests while fostering innovation and free expression. The outcome of this situation will have far-reaching implications for the future of social media and the digital landscape in the United States.

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About Jessie Rei

I'm Jessie Rei, the mind behind Shewillbe.nyc. As a Tech Journalist, Author, and PR Campaign Manager residing in the heart of NYC, my mission is to demystify the tech world for you. With a passion for AI and emerging technologies, I bring a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective to the table, aiming to make technology accessible and understandable for everyone. It's a pleasure to connect with you through my work.