Current TikTok crisis causes wonder

Current TikTok crisis causes wonder

Bailee Clifton, Staff Writer

Government officials all across the country are moving for the TikTok app to be banned in the United States. The app has already been banned from government issued devices.  Many news stories, articles, and tv programs have covered this topic seeing as it’s such a controversy. I believe that the app shouldn’t be banned because the many good uses outweigh the bad. 

One of the main points that Virginia Senator Mark Warner made during his appearance on CNBC is that TikTok is a China-based operation and that they can access data that could potentially harm the United States. While this may be true, I believe the data that they access is secure and wouldn’t be used unless it was directing ads or specific types of videos towards each users “for you page”. 

The app has come to be the world’s newest source of news, whether it be local or otherwise. According to Pew Research Center, “In just two years, the share of U.S. adults who say they regularly get news from TikTok has roughly tripled, from 3% in 2020 to 10% in 2022”. With more and more people becoming active users of the app, more news is spread and can get from the US to the UK in very few minutes. 

Personally, I have made many, many friends from using the app so I don’t doubt that thousands of others have as well. Many people have trouble connecting with someone in person, so having a screen between helps filter and construct friendships. I feel it’s important to have contact and maintain relationships with people from different places and environments because it gives people the opportunity to connect with and learn about different cultures and ways of living. 

Other than being a source of news and friendships, the TikTok app creates approximately 7,000 job opportunities in the U.S. alone according to the company’s website. Even regular users of TikTok can bring in income from posting daily and getting brand deals. “This surge in popularity means TikTok is ripe with revenue opportunities, especially considering around 37% of TikTok users in the US earn $100,000 or more yearly,” said Mehedi Hasan Shoab at SproutSocial. In today’s economy, the extra money made from posting a few videos each day definitely helps. 

Seeing as Tiktok is such a strong presence in the U.S., I don’t think it should be banned on personal devices. If data access is the main problem the government has with the app, then a reasonable solution would be to ban it on government official’s devices or government owned property, which was put into effect in December of 2022. Another solution would be to follow the guidelines as a user. Don’t leak personal information or any information that could be used to harm anyone or anything. There are many petitions circulating to keep TikTok available for the general public, so I propose signing as many of them as possible.