The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Developing TikTok Ban

What the average social media folder looks like in most peoples phones.
Andrea Mistichelli
What the average social media folder looks like in most people’s phones.

The US has the largest TikTok audience of over 135 million active users. Despite this, the government has been trying to ban TikTok in the United States for a while.

It started in 2020 when President Donald Trump was the first to put out statements saying that the app threatens national security because it is owned by a Chinese company, ByteDance. Since then, both the Trump and Biden administrations have been looking into the app and the company behind it. 

“We have given TikTok a clear choice, separate from your parent company ByteDance, which is beholden to the CCP (the Chinese Communist Party), and remain operational in the United States, or side with the CCP and face the consequences. The choice is TikTok’s,”  stated Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.

In 2023, the FBI launched an investigation on TikTok to determine whether it was spying on American journalists. At the same time, Missouri Senator, Josh Hawley, introduced a bill to ban the platform nationwide but it was later blocked in the Senate.

More recently, in February of 2024, the DNI (Director of National Intelligence) stated that TikTok accounts run by the Chinese government were used to influence the 2022 United States elections in their annual threat assessment.

Then on March 13, 2024, the US House of Representatives passed the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, which would ban TikTok in the US unless it divests from ByteDance. This bill has reached the Senate but has not been discussed yet.

Many people in America, specifically teenagers and young adults, have expressed their disapproval of a TikTok ban. People claim that it is an infringement of their First Amendment rights and the ban is actually meant to silence their voices as many young Americans utilize TikTok to express their thoughts and opinions on different topics.

TikTok also supports about 5 million small businesses in the US that wouldn’t be able to have the same platform without TikTok, putting many Americans out of a job.

“We continue advocating against the ban bill because it would trample the free speech rights of 170 million Americans and devastate small businesses across the country,” stated Alex Haurek, a TikTok spokesperson.

People also point out that other social media companies also share their users’ personal information, and if the government investigates TikTok, they should investigate all social media platforms. For example, Meta is a company that owns Instagram, Facebook, Threads, WhatsApp, etc., and they have faced many claims saying that they use and sell their consumer’s data and information. People have pointed this out and are wondering about the government’s true intentions. Is this really to protect America and its citizens from the Chinese government, or is there an ulterior motive?

What happens if the bill is passed in the Senate? ByteDance will have about 6 months to sell TikTok to an American company. If they don’t, TikTok will be banned in all of the US.

ByteDance is unlikely to sell TikTok to an American company. They have already started the fight and don’t seem keen on ending it. However, don’t panic yet. While the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act passed easily through the House, the act hasn’t even been brought onto the Senate floor for discussion yet. The Senate is obviously putting it off, and bills are harder to pass through the Senate than the House.

If TikTok is banned, many people have discussed turning to YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, or FaceBook Reels. However, many don’t feel it’s the same. How would you feel if TikTok were banned? Would you turn to one of the TikTok ‘equivalents’? Weigh-in in the comments. 

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About the Contributor
Andrea Mistichelli
Andrea Mistichelli, Media/Design Editor
I’m Andrea! I run The Chomp's Twitter: @GatorNewspaper. I enjoy reading, especially fantasy, and have danced at Tricia Sloan Dance Center for fifteen years and counting. Besides The Chomp, I am also involved in the French Club, NHS, and Gateway's Mentor Program.
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