President Trump told reporters on Friday night that he’s “looking very closely” at banning the app currently used by millions of Americans.
All of a sudden, people are surprised by this.
The Trump administration has been openly discussing the possibility for some time for national security reasons. They’re not big fans of users’ data being stolen by the app and even though they have repeatedly promised to stop–they haven’t. An Australian Liberal Senator said that TikTok may be “a data collection service posing as a social media app.”
- Pompeo: USA Might Ban China’s TikTok App For Security Breaches
- NATIONAL SECURITY: India Bans Popular Chinese Apps Including TikTok, Should We Do The Same?
- Tech Tyranny: Social Media Is Reportedly Building A Chinese-Style ‘Social Credit’ System To Monitor YOUR Behavior
In case you aren’t around any Gen Z kids trolling the Trump campaign, or medical personnel in emergency rooms during a pandemic, TikTok is a social media app that allows users to post short videos often set to music. (It may be what is driving the need for protesters to dance their way to a better future–but that’s just speculation on my part.)
The app has more than a billion users worldwide, and somewhere between 65 million to 80 million American users. It’s owned by a Chinese company ByteDance and according to the regulations in China is compelled to share data with the Chinese Communist Party. ByteDance recently announced that it was planning on moving its headquarters out of China, but that’s not stopping the criticism of the app continuously stealing user data including contacts, location, and keystrokes.
President Donald Trump told reporters that he plans to ban the TikTok app in the United States through executive authority while flying home from Florida on Friday evening.
“We’re banning them from the United States,” Trump said…
…The president said he would sign something as soon as Saturday, without specifying whether he was going to act through an executive order. Trump called the decision “severance” and firmly rejected the reported spinoff deal involving Microsoft buying TikTok.
TikTok is trying to downplay the Chinese connection and instead focus on the American connection–including American jobs.
A message to the TikTok community. pic.twitter.com/UD3TR2HfEf
— TikTok (@tiktok_us) August 1, 2020
Earlier this month, a TikTok spokesperson told ABC News that the company 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 no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users.”
On July 15, Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows said, “There are a number of administration officials who are looking at the national security risk as it relates to TikTok, WeChat and other apps that have the potential for national security exposure, specifically as it relates to the gathering of information on American citizens by a foreign adversary.”
The United States would not be the first major country to ban TikTok. India banned the app in late June.
Source: ABC News
The ACLU opposes the move as a “danger to free expression.”
Banning an app like TikTok, which millions of Americans use to communicate with each other, is a danger to free expression and technologically impractical. https://t.co/ZbN7f2TOwF
— ACLU (@ACLU) August 1, 2020
The question is…Do you even care?