Tik Tok Ban: Protecting Americans or Trump’s Heart?

What are the real motives for the Tik Tok ban?

President Donald Trump has been threatening to ban Tiktok in the United States since the end of July. His motivations, however, have been arguably controversial and unclear. 

Trump and his administration argue that Tiktok poses a threat to the United States’ national security because it reportedly sends users personal data to China. However, many avid Tik Tok users, adolescents and people in their early 20’s suggest that Trump’s motives are not in favor of national security but to protect himself, specifically in the upcoming presidential election and to combat against hate he is receiving on Tik Tok.

In December 2019, the U.S. began speculating about the possible security threats that Tik Tok could pose. Trump did not become increasingly involved in this news until late July after TikTokers ruined his Tulsa rally in Oklahoma. Trump’s rally in Tulsa had high expectations of filling over 19,000 seats but less than 6,200 people showed up. Tiktokers were to blame, pranking the President by registering for thousands of seats but not choosing to attend. Protestors also stood outside the area telling people not to enter. 

Following the event, an executive order was signed by Trump stating that Tiktok had to be sold to U.S. operations within 90 days. Microsoft was a potential investor but ByteDance, the owner of Tik Tok, rejected their bid. Meanwhile, ByteDance was filing for a lawsuit against the Trump Administration and the U.S. government because of the accusatory claims that the company was taking personal data of users into China without any evidence of it being a threat. 

In a press release, TikTok wrote “We do not take suing the government lightly, however, we feel we have no choice but to take action to protect our rights and the rights of our community and employees.” However, they were not successful because the lawsuit was declined by the Justice Department. 

Approximately 6,200 people showed up at Trump’s Tulsa rally when expected to have well over 19,000 people. (Credit: New York Times)

On September 18, Trump signed a new executive order, indicating that the Department of Commerce would have to enforce that Tik Tok be removed from all app stores in the U.S. by September 20 if it is not in the hands of the U.S. by that date. 

After this executive order was signed, Oracle and Tik Tok came to an agreement that Oracle would own a certain percentage of Tik Tok and all the American users’ data would be within U.S. borders. 

Even so, the President and his administration believe that the U.S. needs to have 100% control of Tik Tok. 

TikTok is one of the many tools the Chinese Communist Party uses to conduct espionage against the United States.” tweeted Ted Cruz, Republican politician. “It’s a serious national security risk & @realDonaldTrump is right to be leaning in and protecting American national security interests.”

Senator Ted Cruz defends and agrees with Donald Trump that Tik Tok should be banned because it is a threat to national security. (Credit: Twitter).

All this back and forth between Tik Tok and the U.S. government has formed a great question, are there any ulterior motives for establishing this ban? 

Many adolescents and Tik Tokers believe that Trump and his administration have been attempting to make this ban because they want to punish Tiktokers for ruining his rally in Tulsa and prevent any more harm from coming to his campaign for the 2020 elections. On social media platforms, many people labeled Trump a “baby” and made fun of him for his childish response to his unsuccessful rally. He’s the biggest baby in the world. They hurt his feelings so now he will have his tantrum,” Twitter user Genia Glover tweeted.

Many adolescents voiced their opinion through social media that Trump is attempting to ban Tik Tok for his own personal reasons. Personal reasons including to protect him in the upcoming election (Credit: Twitter).

Others have made reference to who Trump is as a person and the history he has had: “Donald Trump has a history of retaliating against people and entities that he doesn’t agree with or that he feels have mistreated him in the past,” said Bruce Dobozin, a physician that is also a user of Tik Tok. Many adolescents argue that they will move past this ban and they will continue to make remarks and criticize Trump regardless if it is on Tik Tok or another app.

For now, the Tik Tok ban has not been completed and news has yet to be released about the ban.