For the past few weeks, the world’s emerging social media platform, TikTok, has been under major scrutiny.
For those unfamiliar, TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a large Chinese media company with users in virtually every country.
The fun, fast, dance and meme filled social media app with over 2 billion active users could be coming to an end in the US as well as other countries.
The app has sprung to be a household name in recent months, and for good reason. Teenagers are being turned into celebrities in a matter of months, global trends emerge from the app, a large majority of top billboard songs are being originally discovered and shared on the app.
With this much pull, why are countries that make up a majority of it’s always-growing user base looking to pull the plug?
Let’s look at what’s going on.
India Bans Tik Tok
Last week, the Indian government announced that they would be banning TikTok, along with nearly 60 other Chinese-run media apps.
To the social media company in particular, this ban was a big pill to swallow, as India was the app’s largest market at the time, due to its huge population and growing number of social media users.
What was the reason for the ban in the world’s most populated country?
The official statement from the government claims that the ban of the app, along with others in the list, were for “security reasons.” More specially, the statement read, “It is a threat to India’s sovereignty and integrity.”
Data, Data, Data
So far, the most popular rebuttal to TikTok has been that the app is a Chinese data collection service disguised as a social media application.
Is there any truth in this statement, and how does it vary from data collection practices from US based apps like Facebook and Instagram?
On the other side, TikTok spokesperson went on record saying, “TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the U.S. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.”
Will the US make the next move?
It’s still unclear whether or how quickly the United States will move to ban TikTok from it’s country, and the impacts that may come of it.
On Monday, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said they’re “looking” into banning the app.
And shortly after, President Trump corroborated, “It’s something we’re looking at, yes. It’s a big business. Look, what happened with China with this virus, what they’ve done to this country and to the entire world is disgraceful.”
With Trump’s poll numbers continuing to decline based on growing number of COVID cases and other political upheavals, it’s unsure whether these potential decisions will be based off of legitimate security concerns, or other geopolitical reasons.
Only time will tell, but in the meantime, it would be a great opportunity for a Vine comeback.