TikTok is fighting for its future – The Spectator


An invoice was passed in one in the House of Representatives Voted 352-65 to ban TikTok in the US if it is not sold within six months. The company is currently owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based technology company. Lawmakers raised concerns about the company's current ownership structure National security at risk due to ByteDance's connection to China.

In the event that TikTok is put up for sale, these are the only companies that could buy it US-based technology companieslike Meta, which currently owns Instagram and Facebook.

However, the Senate still has to vote on this ban President Biden has stated that if passed in the Senate, he has announced plans to sign it.

For TikTok users in the US, even if the app is banned and has already been downloaded, it can still be used on devices. No new downloads or updates will be made can happen, so TikTok will not be deleted immediately, but will slowly become buggy and gradually die out.

Isabella Bass, a second-year nursing student, spends three to four hours a day on TikTok. She uses the app for various purposes, but most importantly to stay up to date with current trends. These range from cooking ideas to beauty and skin care.

“I also like watching clothes hauls on TikTok because they are shorter than on YouTube and vlogs are just too long for me to watch. I like the more compressed videos on TikTok,” Bass said.

“If they actually enforce the ban with TikTok, I think a new app will just replace it or they'll just bring back”

Hannah Martin, a fourth-year psychology student, typically spends an hour a day on TikTok. She primarily uses the app for entertainment and thinks it's a good app for getting reviews on products like makeup.

She believes Instagram and TikTok are different and have different strengths.

“I use Instagram to keep up with people, but on TikTok I don't really follow people I know or use it to see what's going on in their lives. It’s mostly just random videos that I watch for entertainment,” Martin said.

Martin doesn't think the ban should actually be a priority.

“I think it’s stupid and there are bigger things our government should be focusing on. I also think there is generally more personal information shared on other apps like Instagram, not TikTok, which foreign nations may still receive.”

Martin also believes that they do not care equally about privacy security on all platforms, but only target TikTok.

“If they're worried about TikTok and our security, they should be worried about all apps, even if they're based in the U.S.,” Martin said.

If TikTok is banned, Martin will be sad because she feels the app has allowed her to learn a lot about different things that others have not provided a platform for. If she comes to that conclusion, she will likely start using X, formerly known as Twitter, in hopes of gaining a similar presence to TikTok on current events.

Collin Rogers-Peckham, a second-year biology student, believes this ban is a distraction from other issues the U.S. government is dealing with.

“I think the U.S. is projecting and trying to distract from current issues, and I worry that their focus on the bill is to distract us from other bills that are being passed,” Rogers-Peckham said.

They drew attention to discrepancies in the review of US-based apps and foreign apps.

“American companies like Google, Meta and Amazon have already admitted to stealing and selling information from their users, but Congress is doing nothing to protect us from it,” Rogers-Peckham said.

They believe that many young people in particular react to this ban emotionally rather than logically. They understand that students are upset that Tiktok may disappear sooner or later.

“It's frustrating but understandable. It's hard to always be the overweight one when it comes to a government that continually ignores our interests. I wish we could take a more logical approach, but look where this has gotten us,” Rogers-Peckham said.

The SU community will wait as the Senate decides the future of TikTok, even as students debate whether TikTok ownership is a priority in terms of what our government should focus on.