By Kosta Magoulas
After many days of deliberation, the Trump administration has officially stated they will do everything in their power to remove TikTok from app stores in the United State, claiming that the app is stealing the data of its users, making it a national security concern. Many government officials have sided with Trump, and have come out to say that the information garnered by Tiktok is being accessed and used by the Chinese government.
An important question in this time is just how accurate and valid are the claims being made by the Trump administration? The majority of the allegations at this time appear to be unfounded, but could this still warrant a ban even if it is all just speculation? The things that we have to further examine are the potential dangers of TikTok and the opinions of students in our community. This will help many gain a better understanding of what TikTok is and if it is worth the download.
TikTok’s largest demographic falls under the “young adults” category, which ranges from the age of 13 to 24. Ioannis Magoulas, a Freshman, feels very ambivalent about the whole ban. He feels “that it is not right to steal and sell data. However, if they are going to ban TikTok for it, they should ban other social media platforms who have been caught selling data as well.”
Ioannis says that many of his other friends also acknowledge that TikTok has been taking user data, but believe that there should be no double standard. Individuals within the community came to the consensus that there should be full transparency between social media platforms and users as well. Having full transparency allows them to feel significantly safer while using their apps, and helps them understand the true intentions behind data collection.
Although some people support TikTok due to America’s actions with their own companies, others believe that TikTok deserves the ban. Saipraneeth Mukku, a senior attending Hammond High School, stated that “TikTok does not deserve our sympathy, they are here to exploit and coerce people in any way possible. It is unreasonable to assume they made this free app just to satisfy random people and not gain anything for themselves, as pessimistic as that sounds.”
Mukku said that he deleted TikTok a few months prior and believes that it was a very good decision on his part. This shows just how important it is for an app to be transparent with their users. If a user does not know the true intentions behind the actions of a company, they may believe their best bet is to simply delete the app, because they’ll no longer have to worry about what may be going on.
Ella Raley, a junior attending Hammond High School, revealed her own thoughts on the subject, saying “I don’t like the ban because a lot of teens go on the app to get away from the problems they are facing in their lives. People try to escape through the app and focus on the positives that come from TikTok,” showing that to some people, none of this is about what the company’s intentions are with it’s users, but instead the app itself. Raley enjoyed using the app, and found it gave her something to look forward to, despite the possible consequences.
Some people in the community agree with the ban, while others are not so sure or rather aware of what is going on. Hopefully in the future companies will take a step in the direction of full transparency with their users, but as of right now there is no definitive answer or resolution to this yet, and the conflicts grow bigger by each day.