The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

Mixed views on a TikTok ban

Ollie O’Toole
Gen Z spends an average of 1 hour and 20 minutes of TikTok a day.

100 million Americans use TikTok daily, a reality under threat as a nation wide TikTok ban becomes more of a possibility.

With a bill called the RESTRICT Act making its way through Congress, and 34 states already having banned the popular social media app TikTok, the possibility of a nationwide TikTok ban becomes more and more likely every day. The bill has drawn bipartisan support and is in response to growing concerns that the Chinese government can access the data TikTok collects about the people of the United States of America. If the Chinese government has this data, the American Government is afraid they can use it to influence the American public. Freshman Anica Gaggar is not concerned by this prospect.

“Everything you do in life is being influenced in some way,” Gaggar said. “The people you hang around with influence your decisions, the stuff you listen to, too. TikToks Just another thing.”

There is currently no public data proving that TikTok is giving user data over to the Chinese government. However, the US government is afraid that because ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, is under the jurisdiction of the Chinese government, the Chinese government will use the power that it has to force ByteDance to give it TikTok user data.

“There are hundreds if not, hundreds of thousands, of people on TikTok [who] express their opinions, their ideas and their creativity on TikTok,” Simpson said. “I think that if they banned [Tiktok], it would be in violation of their First Amendment [rights].”

There are concerns that a bill to ban TikTok would face a First Amendment challenge as it is limiting freedom of speech. As a result, the US government is looking into other ways to fend off the alleged security threat.

“The most ideal thing is if an American company buys [TikTok],” junior Libby Pfendt said. “So then the information is not being leaked.”

One of the options that the US government is looking into is forcing TikTok to be sold to a US company. This is not the first time the United States has done this; in 2020 America forced the sale of Grindr from the Chinese company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co. to the American company San Vicente Acquisition Partners LLC.

“Other countries, when they get information they can use it for difference, but the US has certain protections in place, so people don’t have their [information] stolen,” Pfendt said.

Woodside students and staff were mostly indifferent or supportive to the sale of TikTok to an American company. However, this was not the case for an all out ban of the app.

“I don’t know about a full ban,” English teacher Tony Mueller said. “I don’t think that seems useful. It seems as if these governments want to infiltrate, spread misinformation or do nefarious acts, that they’ll probably be able to do it in other ways.”

While this seemed to be the prevailing opinion, not everyone felt this way, including Pfendt, who was in support of the ban.

“The government is there to protect the people when rights are being infringed on and I think it is an infringement of rights when people are taking personal data from phones,” Pfendt said.

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