How Tiktok Was Almost Banned


Riley Steinhauser, Writer

Most teenagers love the app Tiktok where people can watch and make short videos, but in 2020 an announcement was made that caught the world by shock. Two years ago, it was randomly announced by President Trump, who was the president at that time, that Tiktok was being banned.  

Immediately word about this spread and everyone was talking about it. Mostly teens were because that is the audience that uses Tiktok the most. It was later announced that the reasoning behind this was because the Korean workers behind the app were threatening users privacy and taking their personal data. This had the whole world worried that their information was in the hands of people that they didn’t know. Some people even started talking about how people were watching them through the screens when on the app.  

The man behind the billion-dollar app, Zhang Yiming, was given 45 days to sell the app to an American business or get rid of the app for good. Patrick Jackson, chief technology officer of privacy company Disconnect, said that tiktoks sends a lot of data mostly about the phone to the server but he said that there is little to no evidence that TikTok is sharing their data with the Chinese government.  Darian Robinson, eight grader, says,” When I first heard about the potential banning of tiktok, everyone was talking about it, and I was confused because it happened so suddenly. But I don’t think it should have been banned with barely any research on if the app is safe or not.” 

  Experts have had split opinions on this topic. Half say that tiktok does pose a security risk and the other half think it doesn’t. Emma Boyer, eight grader, said,” I think tiktok does give you enough privacy because you can make your account private, block robots or people with weird accounts, and you can make your tiktok videos private or delete them at any time.” 

Despite all the different opinions, in June 2021 current president Joe Biden signed an executive order to put an end to the trump administration ban on Tiktok and instead had the Secretary of Commerce investigate the app to determine if it really does have a threat to U.S national security.  Zoë Hyden, eight grader, said, “I’m glad they took away the ban from tiktok because a lot of people use the app, and it is very fun to watch your friends make videos.” Tiktok is such a big app and has many people on it. If they ever do decide to ban it again, many people will be upset.