Students react to potential TikTok ban

Jared Galanti, Staff Reporter

TikTok, the social media sensation that has over 800 million users throughout the entire world, may not be available in the United States for much longer. The popular app has given users some of the most viral dances such as the “Renegade” and trends such as the “Andy is coming challenge.”

On Aug. 6, President Donald Trump signed executive papers giving U.S. companies 45 days to buy the U.S. operations of TikTok from ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, otherwise he would ban the app in the United States, citing fear of information being used against the United States by China. Some students won’t be happy if that becomes a reality.

Tiffany Miller, a senior and an elementary education major, initially downloaded TikTok back in April. Miller, who goes on the app for two to three hours per day, doesn’t agree that the app should be banned.

“I think that it brings happiness to people in an odd way,” Miller said. “It kind of shows like real life. On Instagram people fake it until they make it, but on TikTok people are more okay with being who they are.”

Miller said TikTok is an app most people can connect with in some way, whether it’s in a certain dance that is popular or if it’s the way people are feeling on a certain day with the Point of View videos that are popular on TikTok.

Drew Nueser, a senior ITAM major who downloaded the app back in summer 2019, had a similar reaction to the news of a potential ban on TikTok.

“I think the ban is pointless,” Nueser said. “If you’re going to ban one app in a fear of data hacking you should probably ban a bunch of different apps.”

Nueser said she believes that President Trump is potentially doing this ban because he is still annoyed from what happened to his re-election campaign rallies. It was reported across multiple media outlets, including CNN and ABC, that TikTok users reserved tickets to his rallies with no intention of showing up.

For his first rally since COVID-19 took a stronghold in the United States, the Trump campaign said over 1 million tickets were reserved for the rally that took place on June 20 located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. However, when the final tally made its way to the public, only about 6,200 showed up to see the president.

Molly Barrett, a junior who is studying elementary education, said she thinks the president is potentially invoking the ban to try to silence voices who don’t agree with him.

“I think that it is just a way that our current president is trying to diminish the voices of people who disagree with him, especially the younger generation who for the most part is adamantly against him,” Barrett said.

She said TikTok is being used as a platform for those who fight for change, and she believes the president is fighting against that.

“He’s trying to silence their voices so they can’t speak out,” Barrett said.

She thinks if the ban were to happen, she personally wouldn’t be affected, but minority groups and those who use TikTok as a platform for change in the world would be largely affected by it.

Microsoft was the leading contender to purchase the operations from ByteDance, but those talks have since been called off. President Trump’s order was set to expire on Sept. 15, and with no intentions on extending the deadline, we will see soon enough if TikTok will still be available in the United States.