What Is the Big Deal About TikTok?

What Is the Big Deal About TikTok?

Over the past couple of years, you may have heard the rumors that TikTok is getting banned. Some may be wondering why because to most, it is just a social media app that they use for fun content and connecting with others. Some content is serious, some fun, and some might even be educational, but in the media, TikTok is getting a bad rap. 

The government has a couple of concerns over TikTok, with the main one being data privacy and security. TikTok is owned by the company ByteDance, which some believe may be collecting data from its users and misusing this information. With all eyes on TikTok, the government is also concerned about the negative content that is on the app. Sometimes people post inappropriate or harmful content, along with misinformation, hate speech, and predatory behavior. No matter how careful the company may be in trying to get these harmful videos shut down, sometimes it is too late, and a child is exposed to something they shouldn’t have seen. 

However, there are some benefits to TikTok. Overall, it is an app for entertainment, creativity, and self-expression, not to mention a social media platform where many people can connect with each other. TikTok gives you the potential to engage with people from all over the world, something many would not get to do otherwise.

Here at SNU, students are on the app and greatly enjoy it. I spoke to SNU student David Omosigho about the potential TikTok ban, who said, “I think it would really be a hit to our generation who enjoy making the videos, watching them, and using the app for fun.” SNU student Noah Maidlow, pointed out, “Some people and small businesses use the app for free advertisement, and some people make money off of their engagement, so this ban would hurt those people a lot.” 

On March 13, 2024, the House voted to approve a measure that would ban TikTok from operating in the United States or force its sale from the Chinese company ByteDance. Those who disagree with the government’s concern are arguing that taking away TikTok is a way of taking away free speech. So, now it is up to the Senate to decide. From what I have heard on the news, the government doesn’t necessarily want to take away our social media app, they just think the information that the app gathers in the wrong hands can be dangerous. Regardless, we will wait for the Senate’s decision.


Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash