Should TikTok Be Banned?


Sara Cipressi

Davis Herman’s screen time and records of screen time specifically on TikTok.

TikTok has been a global phenomenon since 2019 and is still a controversial topic currently. Filming quick dance videos, getting ready with me, doing daily vlogs, and commenting on your friend’s posts are just some of the popular features of this app. TikTok also provides a direct message system where users can communicate with one another and even send videos directly. Some benefits displayed by TikTok are that the app has brought people happiness, and it helps people who are stressed and anxious to find a distraction from reality that they might need. TikTok can even help to make people feel more confident and reassured of themselves and their creations. While helping people both mentally, and emotionally, Tiktok has also developed creator jobs and a source of income for people on the app. The “creator fund,” allows popular TikTokers to make cash from the views and likes/comments they attract. TikTok has also started to become more educational, helping teenagers or adults with stocks or finances. TikTok is also helping kids by teaching subjects that they might struggle with in the classroom. With all of these positive benefits revolving around this app, why has the question “Should TikTok be banned?” been discussed for the past year?

While it can be a distraction from reality, many people have started to become addicted and rely on Tiktok every day of their lives. Pennridge student, Davis Herrmann said, “ I would be emotionally damaged if TikTok was banned.” She even followed up that with, “ I would be upset and not know what to do with my spare time anymore.” While many state that all forms of social media can and are addicting, TikTok has shown increased obsessions in young teens, as shown through Herrmann’s response.

People are also starting to express concern that TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, may put sensitive user data, like location information, into the hands of the Chinese government. Another Pennridge student, Bennett Hansbarger, said, “I feel like you can get stuck in the rabbit hole on Instagram, and Instagram reels or TikTok are pretty similar, but the security issue is mainly a TikTok problem that I know of.” Privacy is very important to many users on the internet, and if TikTok can not satisfy that, who is to say foreign countries aren’t gathering your personal information while you are watching a trendy dance? Many common concerns with social media are the usual teen addiction or reliance on the app and the general overuse of that platform. However, the main arguments for the TikTok ban have shifted from teen addiction and common social media issues to the fact that this video app has now become a breach of national security.

Many TikTokers and general users of the app are beginning to push the boundaries of what they post, such as nudity, violence, illegal substances, and other inappropriate behavior that should not be posted on an app for kids. While this is a breach of the TikTok terms and conditions or general policy that all users must agree to when they sign up for the app, there are many loopholes and disregarded reports. Another commonly discussed issue surrounding TikTok is data security. Many fear that their personal data collected from the TikTok app is being used against the United States by foreign companies and governments. TikTok has become an app that is way more addicting and distracting than any other social media. The government must place a ban on this app to ensure private and personal information is not shared with other companies to be sold, or governments to be used and overall protect civilians from greater harm than the original distress of the app’s removal.