Paige Stegina | A&E Editor
Since the social media platform's initial release, TikTok has gained a significant following and influence. The social media app has been downloaded worldwide. The app not only has billions of downloads across the world, but has licensing deals with companies such as Sony Music and Warner Music Group. However, the app has not been without controversy, with bans in Canada, Europe, and the United Kingdom. During his time as president, Trump attempted to ban the app in the United States due to privacy concerns. Although Trump did not succeed in a ban, members of the FBI, Congress, and other government organizations have brought up concerns with the app. Currently in the United States, federal employees have been banned from using the app on government devices.
Recently, the TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chewwent before Congress, claiming that “The Chinese government has actually never asked us for US user data and we’ve said this on the record, that even if we were asked for that, we will not provide that.” However, United States officials are still skeptical, with CFRA analyst Angelo Zino stating that either a ban or sale of TikTok to a United States company could be arriving within the next twelve to eighteen months. It seems unlikely that TikTok would agree to sell the app, and with legislation such as the RESTRICT Act recently brought to the Senate, authority could be given to the government to ban foreign technologies. As when Trump attacked TikTok, there will certainly be a lengthy court process to determine the constitutionality of the banning of the social media app.
This potential ban on TikTok has made many concerned. Although the app is used casually as many of the countless other social media apps are, there are some individuals who make their livelihood through TikTok. If TikTok is banned, creators will be forced to find another platform. Whether it is through TikTok or the next form that social media takes, social media continues to be an essential component of life in the modern age.