GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — UPDATE: A new announcement states the popular app, Tik Tok, will not be deleted from the app store just yet. — One popular app is causing diplomatic controversy. Tik Tok, the social media app where users can post short videos, was intended to be deleted from the app store today, but hours before the ban was due to take effect, a last minute negotiation over a deal with Oracle has delayed the ban by one week.
Even so, the debate with Tik Tok is about national security. President Trump says his executive order banning Tik Tok in the US is to combat China’s collection of American citizens’ personal data. However, Tik Tok is arguing whether a government can stop its citizens from downloading an app. Still, Trump as well as the US Commerce Department plans to roll out more restrictions against using the app in the upcoming weeks.
Tik Tok is owned by Bytedance, which is a Chinese company. Dominick Miserandino, CEO of Inquistr and social media expert, notes it is a valid concern if a foreign government is involved in a company, and therefore, he says, “lines are getting very blurred in terms of, is this a foreign company or foreign government seeing the data being shared.”
So, the big questions are: Who is doing what with our data? And what exactly is this data?
Even Miserandino says, “nobody has an exact clue of the data or the degree of the data.” However, the possibility of a foreign government stealing your data doesn’t scare many Americans since many people don’t see Tik Tok as anything more than an app.
Still, the platform can be a powerful tool, especially for persuading political views. For instance, a target movement may be for the Trump rally, so if you are anti-Trump and Tik Tok pushes that anti opinion, it can create a bias. Thereby, with the election quickly approaching, there is a concern if the app is directly influencing voters’ decisions.
Further, many people have already noticed political posts on their ‘For You’ pages. Emma Graziano, a Colorado Mesa University student, says, “I’ve been liking more liberal stuff, so that’s definitely swayed my Tik Tok to what I’ve seen.”