Tiktok Almost Died

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Female First

The president threatened to close the popular social media platform sparking conflicts between China and the U.S.

Yashila Shrestha, Opinions Editor

The short-video media platform TikTok has become a beloved entertainment and educational platform, with over 800 million active users. However, recently, there was shocking news that it would be shut down in the US. 

The rumors about TikTok shutting down started pretty early this summer when India officially banned TikTok in June. However, the controversy didn’t start in the U.S until Aug. 6, when President Donald Trump issued an executive order that would ban transactions with Tiktok in 45 days.

“To this day I have no idea if TikTok was really going away and the President saved the day, allegedly, or if a company came in at the last hour and bought TikTok.  All I know is that it is still around for me and millions of others to enjoy,” said physical education teacher Lauren Dommel.

While some users didn’t question the threat of losing the app, others, like CHS freshman Yashica Yogeshwar, speculated as to why it was being banned. 

“When TikTok started turning into a safe space for individuals to express their political opinion, I did have a gut feeling that Trump was going to ban TikTok because it would mess with his campaign,” Yogeshwar said.

Obviously, there were many questions people had about this whole situation, and in order to understand what actually happened, the main question to be answered would be “why was TikTok being banned?”

 Tensions have risen between the US and China ever since Trump announced that TikTok “may also be used for disinformation campaigns that benefit the Chinese Communist Party.”  

However, TikTok has repetitively denied these allegations, saying the U.S data is stored in the U.S, and the backup data is stored in Singapore, and since it’s data centers are not inside of China, the information isn’t subject to Chinese law. Also, however, according to CNBC, experts say there are many ways the Chinese legislation could force these Chinese companies to hand over data to Beijing. 

Despite the overwhelming love for TikTok, many people did imply some concerns about safety.

“My opinion of TikTok in general is that it can be an excellent social media platform when used correctly.  Much like everything when used incorrectly or recklessly it can be dangerous.  I do not feel that it is safe; no social media platform is safe in my opinion but I guess it all depends on what people consider safe.  It is safe for me as an older person to use but not for my 9 or 11-year-old kids to use alone,” Dommel said.

The next series of events took place when Trump created a deal in which Tiktok either had to sell the app to a U.S. buyer, or it would be shut down in the U.S. This deal was created because the state of Washington maintained that under ByteDance’s ownership, TikTok could be sending personal information to China, which presents a national security concern.

CHS freshman, Aastha Shrestha says she thinks “ it really was a national security threat because of the Chinese spy stuff.”

Now, in order to appease the executive order, Walmart and computing company Oracle share 20% of TikTok stock. However, Trump wrote another executive order requiring ByteDance to completely separate from its U.S. TikTok operations by Nov. 12 although that likely depends on next month’s election results.

“If the government were to gain control of social media platforms, it should not be allowed to censor people’s opinions on political issues and gain full control. The Government gaining supremacy on social media platforms could potentially lead our society to a totalitarian mess,” concludes Yogeshwar. “I believe Trump’s decision on banning Tik Tok was unjustifiable and biased because he almost took away our Freedom of Speech.”