Congress moves to ban Tik Tok


  150 million United States citizens use the TikTok app. Lawmakers, specifically those in the U.S. Senate, are concerned that the Chinese-based organization that owns TikTok is giving user data to the Chinese government. This should concern anyone, but it has been repeatedly shown that TikTok collects no more data than any other social media app, so why is it still a big deal? 

  On July 7, 2020, U.S. Secretary Mike Pompeo announced that TikTok was being monitored because of national security concerns, and that it was a possibility the app would be banned from the U.S. market. TikTok immediately filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration claiming that the administration was violating its right to due process. 

  After a while, the idea of banning the app faded as other worldly news took the spotlight in 2020. However recently it has resurfaced as congress interviewed TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew. 

  Activists all over the country have been in protest of banning TikTok because the bill proposed does not just affect TikTok. The RESTRICT act proposes that the U.S. be able to pre-empt any apps developed in China or Russia from entering the U.S. market. 

  Many activists have become concerned that this bill, if passed, would be government overreach. Some argue that by filtering content online their freedom of speech is being violated. 

  With TikTok possibly being banned, what will be the next big app? Many other apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and most notably IFunny have copied the idea of TikTok and applied it to their websites.

Senior Collin Karrow shared what app he would use in place of Tik Tok if it gets banned and said, “I’d probably use Instagram reels.” 

  Like TikTok, the reels feature on Instagram lets users scroll down a video feed customized to their experience. The videos are no longer than a minute and can be edited with effects,filters, and sounds just like TikTok. 

  Snapchat has the spotlight feature which contains videos that are up to a minute long. The feature works similar to TikTok, you just scroll down the feed. As more videos are liked, the content users are shown becomes more personalized.

  On IFunny users can also post animations, GIFS, and memes. IFunny has far more features than TikTok has. The app limits creators to a minute long for videos. 

  Government teacher Nolan Baker shared, “The idea of banning a public forum such as TikTok without concrete evidence should not be taken lightly. Many Americans use TikTok as a platform to share their political opinions, raise money for charity, and express themselves. I would not be in favor of banning such a thing on a mere whim or hunch.”  

  Keep in mind that the bill has not passed yet. If one wants to protest the bill, call, email, write, or visit local senate representatives.