Social Media Scandals:
History of the conflict between TikTok and the USA
13:55 24 September 2020
In an interview with Fox News, hosted by Laura Ingraham, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, clearly reported that the United States wants to ban TikTok, alongside other social media apps from China. He even said that they would be taking the ban very seriously, which has led to an uproar from all the TikTok lovers in the US. TikTok, as we have come to know it, is a very addictive social media platform and it is not surprising that being asked to abandon it would lead to outrage from those who have come to love it.
Social networks such as TikTok have strategically found a way to stretch their roots into special parts of our hearts, affecting our lives in ways than we bargained for—and, apparently, in more ways than we realize. Millions of students spend a lot of time recording videos for TikTok. That’s why they can have problems with their writing assignments. Despite this, the principle of work, progress, influence, and advertising opportunities of social media often becomes the topic of those very student papers. Currently, student social media essays include a more recent take on the development of internet media in general, as an example we can read about how social media making us less social. This is true, although social networks are getting more innovative development thanks to the work of students of technical colleges, but it is also becoming a problem of their academic performance. In addition, a red rag for teachers, and sometimes even for the government. Hence the conflict between TiKTok and the United States.
Pompeo’s reports did not come at a lovely time—now that there is heightened tension between China and the US. Donald Trump’s declaration to ban TikTok has exploded into other relationships between both parties, such as: National security, trade and technology.
TikTok is a Chinese application, accessible by anyone across the globe and has gained quick popularity. Even people in the university are addicted to it. It is loved for allowing users to create and watch short videos; its type is a collaboration of a social network and video hosting. As time rolled by, the United States has continued to hurl allegations against TikTok, accusing them of collecting data illegally, and so they placed a number of bans in an attempt to limit the use of the app. Finally, the US government has declared that they would terminate TikTok in the US, effective from the 15th of September. The official representatives of China views this as pressure on Chinese business.
In response to Pompeo’s reports, a TikTok spokesperson denied it all saying TikTik has never supplied the Chinese government with data, and wouldn’t even supply them if asked. He further explained that TikTok is overseen by an American CEO is the US, with hundreds of employees driven by the goal to create a secure app experience for TikTok’s users, abiding by the public policy in the US. But because TikTok has a strong connection to China and is owned by a Beijing-based start-up ByteDance, it has been constantly criticised by some United States politicians, accusing the video app of being a threat to their national security. They fear that TikTok could be utilized to support the Chinese Communist Party.
TikTok, however, is loved by many Americans and all over the world. And this year, it has gained immense popularity—having been downloaded 315 million times between January to March 2020. It has set a record as the first social media platform to gain this kind of recognition outside its home country. As confirmed by Sensor Tower, an analytics company, TikTok gained more quarterly downloads, than any other application in the history of man. It is no wonder why the US government is threatened by them. But they are not alone.
The Indian government has also come forward to say they have to ban TikTok from India, as well as other popular Chinese applications. Like the US, they claim it stands as a threat to their integrity and sovereignty. This has forced the successful Chinese company into a pitfall. But it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. Tensions have been thickening between India and China, ever since the clash which occurred along the Himalayan border.
All we have to do now is watch what will happen next with TikTok and the US government. Where will this conflict lead to, and in how many more ways will it affect the relations between the United States and China.