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By Litzy Grijalba

From dance challenges to digital rights, the possible prohibition on TikTok could mute a generation. The potential American TikTok ban has sparked controversy all over the country.

These conversations mostly cen­ter on TikTok's user data handling practices and possible connec­tions to the Chinese government, given that TikTok is controlled by China. There are suspicions that the app might be gathering and disclosing user data to unaffiliat­ed parties, endangering the secu­rity and privacy of users.

Members of Congress moved on fears that TikTok’s existing own­ership structure poses a threat to national security, and the House passed a bill that would result in a nationwide ban of the app if its China-based owner does not sell its interest.

After passing by a vote of 352-65, the bill now moves to the Senate, where its future is still uncertain.

Currently, Florida has enacted a Social Media Ban law which forbids minors under 14 from ac­cessing social media platforms. In addition, individuals who are 14 and 15 years old will be required to obtain parental authorization in order to create accounts. It will go into effect Jan. 1 if it still stands following expected appeals.

The law was issued in response to an abundance of research demonstrating an array of neg­ative effects for exposing kids to social media use in the modern world.

Both instances, the prospective banning of TikTok and the re­cent enactment of Florida's social media ban, underscore the grow­ing examination and deliberation over the function and impact of social media platforms.

Unfortunately, a broad spectrum of individuals could be nega­tively impacted by the proposed prohibition. For instance: fre­quent users who take pleasure in producing and disseminating content, social media influencers who depend on TikTok to reach their audience, and companies which utilize the platform for promotional endeavors. They are all in an uproar about TikTok’s uncertain future.

Critics believe the bill will be used to restrict more than the popular social media app, but free expres­sion itself, increasing censorship for future similar apps.

This possibility has outraged nu­merous influencers that depend on the app for their primary source of revenue especially. One of those people is Amber Esten­son, who’s also known as the “The Midwestern Mom.” Estenson, who has a combined follower base of over 1 million followers, creates and uploads content about herself and her alter ego on TikTok.

“I’d lose a million people who watch me every day, and it is not just Americans: it is people all over the world. I’d lose a commu­nity that I have created over the past three to four years. I’d lose access to the ability to talk to a million people,” Estenson said.

So, what has TikTok said about all of this? In response to the pro­spective ban, the platform has actively cooperated with officials and working to resolve security and privacy issues. Additionally, TikTok has improved their con­tent filtering procedures and pub­lished transparency reports in an effort to be more accountable and open.

By providing clear information to users about data practices, Tik­Tok aims to build trust and en­sure users are well-informed on how their information is han­dled. They’ve also emphasized the significance of open commu­nication with regulators to reach solutions advantageous to the platform and users.

The beloved app has offered an amusing, creative space for in­dividuals to express themselves through quick videos. To illus­trate, TikTok's “Community” feature facilitates connection and teamwork among users, while its algorithm presents tailored ma­terial to maintain user engage­ment. Gen Z is the source of the app's appeal for its contributions of varied information, challeng­es, and trends.

As controversy rages on, one question remains: is the TikTok potential ban justified or an over­reaction?

Barry students, like Rosean Wayne and Tommy Hill, believe the potential TikTok ban is an overreaction.

“I keep hearing about the ban all over social media, and it’s unfor­tunate since so many people have used TikTok as an outlet and cre­ated careers off of it,” said polit­ical science sophomore Rosean Wayne. “Although I understand the reasoning on why our government is taking these actions, I do believe it is an overreaction. In my personal opinion... the app should of course be monitored for the potential of other countries collecting data from users: I don’t believe a full ban is nec­essary.”

The latest social media ban im­posed in Florida is a tangible manifestation of reality.

“I have seen a lot of content pop up on most social media plat­forms regarding the potential ban of TikTok. I don't agree with the ban of TikTok unless there's proof that the app poses a legiti­mate national security concern,” said communications sophomore Tommy Hill. “Until I see that, then I think we should take all this news with a grain of salt.”


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Apr 19
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Great article to keep those informed. Many valid point of views and sources!


Apr 19
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thanks for the information, Great work =)


Apr 19
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Beneficial to those who are not aware of what’s going on. Keep up the great work!!

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