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Is TikTok Going to Be Banned?

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President Trump’s possible ban against TikTok in America is a current global controversy. Many United States citizens use the app, a whopping 100 million people, which is about 30% of the American population. It is renowned for its short dance and comedy videos, with a large portion of the content created by Generation Z. Because TikTok is a Chinese app, Trump is concerned that China is stealing American users’ data. Trump has taken steps toward banning the app, but it’s unclear whether he has the power to complete the ban. There are concerns over the infringement of free speech and the effectiveness of a ban. This article explores how TikTok users feel about the situation.

Elizabeth Van Buskirk uses the app for at least an hour per day. She usually watches political content, including the Black Lives Matter movement and COVID-19. Van Buskirk uses TikTok as both an educational platform and a source of entertainment. 

“I’ve learned a lot from this type of content, but TikTok is also just a great place to turn off my brain,” said Van Buskirk.

Another TikTok user, Bethany Bauer, spends about two hours on TikTok every day. She often sees art, music memes, and dance videos. 

“Tiktok is the glue that is holding me together during quarantine. It’s not as grating as other social media, and the main vibe I get from it is chill and fun,” said Bauer.

Van Buskirk enjoys the app for its personalized “For You” page. On other social media apps, she finds that the recommended content doesn’t always align with what she wants to see. TikTok eventually adjusts to what users like so that they don’t have to search for it. Bauer also enjoys this aspect of TikTok. 

“The rapid-paced format where you can swipe infinitely and be exposed to content that is catered to you is really nice,” said Van Buskirk.

Bethany Bauer says that the ban has some validity. TikTok can access users’ clipboard data, which includes passwords and private information. Bauer is also concerned about the CCP having access to data, but doesn’t think they’ll find any information crucial to the United States’ security through people’s phones. 

Another issue is that the CCP may try to sway elections through the app. However, Bauer believes that Generation Z is less susceptible to propaganda, especially on the internet. 

The Tiktok ban “is an example of censorship, regardless of whether it might be better for individual privacy,” said Bauer. 

Van Buskirk believes that the ban on TikTok is ill-advised. The social media app aims to provide people with funny videos and achieves its purpose. Van Buskirk acknowledges the privacy of American citizens and thinks Trump has a grudge against the app personally.

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“The president is scared of how the app has organized people against him— which makes the ban a bit of a joke,” said Van Buskirk.

This goes back to the Tulsa rally in June, where TikTok users registered thousands of tickets, yet the majority didn’t show up. This resulted in low attendance to the rally. Bauer agrees with the statement by many that Trump was “irrationally angry” after the Tulsa rally

According to Van Buskirk, she would miss the app if it becomes banned. Van Buskirk believes that she would lose the entertainment and the educational opportunity that she attains through TikTok. This includes coverage on current BLM protests, Covid-19 news, popular discussions like AAVE, and history lessons on many cultures. 

“People on TikTok work very hard to share their knowledge and experiences. I’m learning something new every day because of them,” said Van Buskirk.

Bauer would be sad if the app is banned as she’s been using it for over a year. She would miss how Tiktok allows her to “experience a wide range of content very quickly.” 

The TikTok ban continues as a rumor in the headlines despite all of the reasons to keep the app open to the American public. The outcome of the debate on the ban is yet to make itself clear, so users are trying to enjoy watching and creating TikToks while they can. 

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