The United States Government has been trying to ban TikTok, previously known as “Musically”, from the app store, as well as the phones of all Americans. The reasoning for the possible TikTok ban is that government officials feel China is stealing American data. If TikTok is banned, all of the small businesses in America that thrived off of social media during quarantine will lose a way to advertise their products to new customers.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, people flocked to TikTok to reconnect with the world and their peers after being forced to stay at home and quarantine. It has the power of connecting you to others around the world, whether you’re sharing your sobriety journey or just having fun on the social media app. This ban on TikTok seeks to take that away from people, stripping people of their civil liberties. The first amendment is freedom of speech, banning TikTok is a violation of the people’s constitutional right of freedom of speech which is protected by the first amendment. If TikTok is banned, this is intruding/impacting people’s constitutional rights.
TikTok also helps people fund their lifestyles, and build up their businesses and brands. Keith Lee, a TikTok food critic, started reviewing food on TikTok in 2020 but blew up recently in 2023 and has partnered with Chipotle, Mr. Beast, and more. Lee has amassed a following of around 10 million followers. Keith Lee has been given the power to make or break a restaurant. TikTok and its algorithm have helped Keith Lee reach audiences for you pages to grow his page and the brand that he has established today.
Personally, I believe that if TikTok is banned, society will lose its voice. The Government is noticing that generations are uniting for certain issues and going against what the government believes should be normal. Social Justice Tok has become a big issue surrounding names like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Emmett Till.
TikTok is where the younger generation comes together to unite for certain issues and even unite against other issues. Without TikTok, the younger generation will lose their way to connect with the outside world. The older generation is however the opposite because during the pandemic they have been forced to distance themselves from their family. TikTok is another way they are able to keep in touch with their grandchildren and family overall.
Recently in Montana, lawmakers passed legislation to completely ban TikTok from Apple’s and Google’s app stores. The law makes it illegal to download TikTok in the state, with fines of up to $10,000 per day for any entity, including app stores from Apple and Google, or TikTok itself, which provides the popular video streaming app.
Some parents agree with the possible TikTok ban, citing concerns of internet safety and child predators on TikTok, however, you can easily private your TikTok and set restrictions for your child. Direct Messaging can be closed to followers on TikTok in the settings. While this is a valid concern you can easily debunk the concern with fact and research.
Banning TikTok is not the correct move at all. There are better ways to handle the issue without stripping people of their constitutional rights and without being irrational.
This article originally appeared in The Athens Oracle.
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