TikTok’s Wavering Future

Plans to covert TikTok from a Chinese-owned company into a U.S. one await a federal judge’s decision


Carley Parrish, Student Life and Features Editor

TikTok, the social media sensation among Gen Z, has been dodging missiles from the U.S. government for months now. The accusation of the Chinese-owned app exploiting user’s data and the rumors of it being shut down keep floating around. 

When students encounter the debate of whether the app should be banned, there are multiple directions the argument could go. 

While we can thank the creators of the app for unifying Gen Z, China does have a past of smuggling user data for purposes that remain unknown. With the company based in China, it is difficult to monitor what is going on. Many students think that banning TikTok as a precaution is a good idea and will prevent potential infiltration. 

Senior Spencer Cockrell agrees that the app should be sold to a U.S. company. 

“They are mining information from its users for a foreign government,” Cockrell said. “If they didn’t want to get banned, they shouldn’t have used people’s information like that.”

Senior Raegan Kalasz also thinks protecting the nation from suspected data robbery is a suitable route.

“If banning the app will keep kids using the app safe, I’m okay with that,” Kalasz said.

On the other end of the spectrum, however, is the idea that President Trump is tired of being ridiculed on this social media platform. Trump relishes controlling the narrative of his presidency. With the rampant number of schemes that were planned, orchestrated and successful against him by the app’s users—like gobbling up reserved seats at Trump’s June 20 rally in Tulsa, OK—it would not be a surprise if this is his motivation either. 

Sophomore Shelley Roper thinks that the banning of TikTok is an attempted strategy and grasp control by Trump.

“I think Donald Trump’s decision to ban the app, TikTok, from the United States is just a business tactic and an effort to stop teens and young adults from going against him,” Roper said.

TikTok has opened an environment for famous influencers and smaller creators to express themselves. With this, users are learning new dances, trying new trends and supporting one another.

Sophomore Anna Kuga believes that Trump is working to please the older generations who don’t understand the app and what is being done on it. 

“People make their lives off of TikTok. They make income, friends and sometimes save lives… I think the world would be devastated if it was banned,” Kuga said. “It would take a creative workspace away from many people.”

Recently, a pressing point has been brought up in this debate. With the COVID-19 pandemic ruthlessly spreading throughout the United States, some students think the priorities of the President should be elsewhere. 

Sophomore Dale Lawson thinks TikTok hasn’t posed enough of a threat to be treated like one.

“I think Trump is worrying about the wrong thing and needs to focus more on our more important issues the world is facing today,” Lawson said. “TikTok can be dealt with later. He needs to focus on something else.”

Sophomore Sydney Harmon has a similar opinion to Lawson and understands the stress of data being stolen, but she thinks that there are more dire issues.

“We are in the middle of a pandemic, and I believe more attention should be directed towards how that’s affecting people, rather than shutting down an app that is unfavorable to his campaign,” Harmon said.