TikTok Ban

The US government talks of possibly banning the popular social media app

Claire Arneson, Editor

TikTok has been the source of information, distraction, and joy for many Americans since before the first outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is estimated that about 100 million active TikTok users are in the US. After its initial success in 2020, the Trump administration threatened to ban the app if it did not “sell itself to a US-based company” according to CNN. Now, amidst all that is going on in the world, congress is circling back to banning the app.  

The ban on the app was introduced in December 2022. According to AP Press, “the $1.7 trillion package includes requirements for the Biden administration to prohibit most uses of TikTok or any other app created by its owner, ByteDance Ltd,” which would essentially mean that TikTok would not be accessible in the US. The government’s main concern regarding this app is its privacy and security. Some think that the app would try and “push pro-China narratives or misinformation.” The CEO of TikTok Shou Chew addressed concerns such as these  at the Harvard Review Conference in early March. CNN reports that Chew emphasized that this would be bad for business, noting that some 60% of TikTok’s owners are global investors. “Misinformation and propaganda has no place on our platform, and our users do not expect that,” he said. 

Regarding the question of whether TikTok is truly a threat to national security, CNN Business talked to James Lewis, a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and other “security experts” who concluded that, “although TikTok’s links to a private Chinese company are worthy of concern, the app simply wouldn’t be that useful for espionage” and “even if TikTok collected enough of the right kind of data from the right people to pose a unique threat, it is not guaranteed the Chinese government would be able to access it easily.” As for current updates, the conversation is still happening, and there is no end in sight. TikTok has accumulated many users and followers and is one of the most influential apps of our time. Whether that will save the app we hold dear to our hearts is unknown.  


Fung, B. (2020, July 9). TikTok is a national security threat, US politicians say. here’s what experts think | CNN business. CNN. Retrieved March 30, 2023, from https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/09/tech/tiktok-security-threat/index.html  

Merchant, N. (2022, December 20). Congress moves to ban tiktok from US government devices. AP NEWS. Retrieved March 30, 2023, from https://apnews.com/article/technology-politics-d33e58c76bb3c13297c72816ef4e6231  

Thorbecke, C., & Fung, B. (2023, March 23). The US government is once again threatening to ban tiktok. what you should know | CNN business. CNN. Retrieved March 30, 2023, from https://www.cnn.com/2023/03/18/tech/tiktok-ban-explainer/index.html 


Claire Arneson is a Dakota Student Section Editor. She can be reached at [email protected]