Today: Apr 23, 2024

Students express thoughts on potential TikTok ban

Brandon Cortés- News Writer

In the wake of growing concerns over national security and data privacy, the potential ban of TikTok in the United States has sparked a flurry of opinions among college students across the nation.  

With the popular video-sharing platform facing scrutiny from government officials, students are finding themselves torn between their love for the app’s entertainment value and their apprehension about its alleged ties to foreign interference. As the debate rages on, voices from campuses nationwide weigh in on the implications of a potential TikTok prohibition. 

For some students at the university, TikTok has become an integral part of daily life, offering a platform for creativity, self-expression and connection with peers. From dance challenges to comedic sketches and educational content, the app has cultivated a diverse community that transcends geographical boundaries.  

“TikTok has been my go-to source for entertainment and stress relief,” English major Taylor Havrilla, a junior, said. “It’s where I discover new trends, share funny moments with friends and express myself through short videos. Banning it would feel like losing a significant part of my social life.” 

However, beneath the surface of TikTok’s vibrant user base lies a deep-seated concern regarding privacy and security. The app’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, has come under intense scrutiny over allegations of data mining and potential ties to the Chinese government. 

Critics argue that TikTok poses a threat to national security by collecting vast amounts of user data, including personal information and browsing habits. Although as for the time of writing this article, there is no proof that ByteDance is affiliated to the Chinese Communist Party, nor that they are selling American data to third parties. 

“I’m not a big fan of the app, but I’m also wary of the privacy issues surrounding it,” English major Jason Merced, a junior, said. “It was fun to use in the beginning, but suddenly it became too dull. I really don’t mind nor care if it gets banned right now.” 

The debate over TikTok’s fate has been further fueled by geopolitical tensions between the United States and China. With the Trump administration initiating efforts to ban the app in 2020 followed by ongoing legal battles and executive orders, the issue has remained a focal point of political discourse. 

As the Biden administration inherits the challenge, college students are closely watching developments and contemplating the broader implications of a potential ban.  

“I get the reason why they are banning it, but I will be kind of screwed because it’s like my only source of information and entertainment at the moment,” Havrilla said. 

As of the composition of this article, the House of Representatives has approved the bill aimed at prohibiting TikTok, with its fate now awaiting determination by the Senate.  

Should the bill be enacted, ByteDance will face a choice: either divest all their shares to the American government within a six-month window, granting full control of the application, or risk being barred from operating in the country. The implementation of this decision could span days, weeks, or even months. 

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