The US Government Believes Tiktok is Invading our Privacy.


Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Melissa Cachu-Ramirez, Journalist

TikTok remains one of the most popular social media platforms, with approximately 150 million monthly active users in just the United States. Tiktok is a platform where users can upload short-length videos with a variety of topics, such as gaming, fashion, acting, parodies, comedy, promoting brands/businesses, and much more. Despite all of the support and attention this video-sharing platform has received throughout the years, the federal government and state lawmakers have taken action and made efforts to ban the platform. 

There are a small number of reasons as to why our government wants TikTok to be banned across the nation. However, it appears that their biggest worry has to do with the fact that TikTok is owned by a Chinese company known as ByteDance Ltd. They believe the Chinese government will receive information Tiktok has collected and use it to spy on us. This could have to do with the fact that a Chinese-operated high-altitude balloon was spotted in North American airspace early on this year. It was announced that the balloon was used for surveillance which would explain their worry. However, the CEO of TikTok, Zi Chew, has stated that they haven’t, and will never, share user data with the Chinese government. 

“TikTok has never shared, or received a request to share, U.S. user data with the Chinese government,” Says Chew. “Nor would TikTok honor such a request if one were ever made…”

Politicians also want the app banned because they’re being held accountable for their actions instead of changing their offensive ways and thoughts. They like the social platform, Facebook, because they don’t get called out for their opinions from younger audiences. For example, after Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court eliminated abortion as a right. This caused many people to protest and leak sensitive information about the judges. 

Another concern is how TikTok influences Americans and how young children and teens’ mental health is affected with the use of the app. The US government is concerned with some of the videos that get uploaded, such as violence promotion, hate speech, and challenges that may put people in danger. Some examples of these are vandalizing bathrooms (this trend was known as “Devious Lick”), and The Blackout challenge, also known as the “choking”/”pass out” challenge encouraged young teens to suffocate themselves, causing various deaths. Minors’ mental health can worsen after downloading Tik Tok, but the same could be said about any other social media platform. Most of the issues they have with content being posted on this platform could be avoided with better community guidelines that remove bad influence videos faster, or simply changing your content preferences in settings if there are videos showing up that are upsetting in any way.