The government is trying to ban TikTok, but is it really necessary?

TikTok is facing backlash from government officials trying to ban the app.


With an estimate of 150 million Americans using TikTok, the U.S. government’s attempt to ban the app stirs controversy among users. (Photo via Pixabay)

In December 2022, President Joe Biden signed a bill to ban TikTok on government-owned devices. According to an article by ABC News, government officials are concerned about data breaches and privacy regarding personal information through TikTok.

This is also because TikTok was founded by an internet Chinese company, ByteDance. According to the article, companies in China are required to share information with the Chinese government which is posing a potential threat to data breaches with the United States government.

While this is a good reason to ban TikTok, there are other factors that seem to bother those who hate TikTok and social media. Some examples include impacts on mental health and explicit content exposed to minors. These are inevitable factors.

Social media applications have their ugly and pretty sides, each platform has its flaws. Bryan Lopez, a psychology major at American River College, believes social media shouldn’t be the main thing that needs to get banned.

“​​You can say that everything is bad, TV, video games–video games for one. I’m surprised people aren’t trying to get video games banned instead of social media,” Lopez said. 

It’s difficult to escape the negative impacts of social media, like TikTok. What differentiates TikTok from other social media apps? It’s all about the way it’s structured. With TikTok, you’re limited to just scrolling.

However, with applications like Instagram and Facebook, you can play games, shop, or post photos. On TikTok, you’re limited to posting videos and scrolling. The more you’re constantly scrolling, you want to watch more until you find a video you like. 

It’s the psychological aspect. You want to keep scrolling and scrolling until you find a video you can’t stop watching.

I can empathize with the government wanting to ban TikTok. It’s addictive and dangerous for kids and too much personal information can be shared. It makes sense, but what difference will this really make? Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and all forms of social media share the same concept. 

If you take away TikTok, however, there will always be an alternative to go back to it. Instagram with reels and YouTube with shorts are other ways to post. They’re both based on the same concept as TikTok. 

Eliminating TikTok is not going to stop kids and teenagers from using social media. The government should stop trying to ban TikTok. If this were to happen, it will make a minimal impact compared to having the app now. 

Users who go on TikTok daily will find another way to entertain themselves. With other platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. They’re all other forms of watching videos and consuming information. TikTok is just a common platform that everyone loves to go on.

Meanwhile, TikTok has become an outlet for artists and “influencers.” It’s becoming a platform for them to grow. It allows people to post important information that isn’t normally broadcast on TV. Lesley Jacobo, funeral services major, said she uses TikTok for entertainment and information purposes.

“I like getting my information from there [TikTok] since it’s more accessible and easier than having to research sometimes,” Jacobo said.

At the end of the day, TikTok is like any other social media app. It has its negative factors, but the internet is an open book for people to post what they want. Our data is shared with everything we use on the internet and it’s inevitable.