Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap, is open about the danger TikTok poses.
When questioned about a potential TikTok ban during yesterday’s (April 19) Snap Partner Summit, Spiegel responded, “We’d love that.” He did, however, add that the thrills would only be “short-term.”
One of Gen Z’s favorite apps being expelled from social media warfare would be excellent for the photo-messaging platform, but it would also be frightening. If US citizens are successful in banning just one tech company, it might create a dangerous precedent.
“I do think it is important for us to be thoughtful and really develop a regulatory framework to deal with national security concerns, especially around technology,” Spiegel stated. And according to the publicly accessible evidence, “I believe there are legitimate national security concerns far above my pay grade and security clearance.”
TikTok is not your typical app. It’s a hugely popular Chinese-owned app with suspected security flaws that are caught in the center of the intensifying trade disputes between the US and China.
One significant figure: Complex reasons why limiting TikTok
150 million Americans use TikTok each month to express themselves and acquire information. It might be argued that a ban would violate both their First Amendment rights—it was recognized as a legitimate worry when a WeChat restriction was lifted—and their constitutional freedom to obtain information from outside.
A quick timeline of US efforts to outlaw TikTok
2020: TikTok is banned as a result of executive orders signed by the Donald Trump administration. One of the orders forbids transactions between US residents and TikTok beginning in 45 days, while the other directs TikTok to divest all of its US assets within 90 days.
After influencers who have millions of app users and make thousands of dollars for each video sued, a federal judge blocked the prohibition. Preliminary injunctions against restrictive measures are issued by a second federal court that labels the administration’s action as “arbitrary and capricious.”
2022: After BuzzFeed revealed that ByteDance personnel in China frequently accessed US TikTok user data, questions are raised regarding TikTok’s connections to China. The leaders of the US Senate Intelligence Committee have requested an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission into whether TikTok misled the public about the access that Chinese employees have to American user data. Later, according to Bloomberg, TikTok was asked to host covert propaganda accounts by the Chinese government.
According to a Forbes review of the LinkedIn profiles of TikTok and ByteDance employees, 300 of the present employees have previously worked for Chinese official media outlets. As the year comes to a close, Congress decides to forbid federal employees from using TikTok on equipment owned by the government.
The White House gives federal agencies 30 days in 2023 to remove TikTok from all of their equipment. The RESTRICT Act, which would grant the federal government new authority to impose restrictions on and even outright ban technologies from China, is introduced by US senators. The legislation has the support of the White House. In a five-hour hearing, Congress grills TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew.
How Chinese TikTok is Attempting to win over American Critics
ByteDance, a Chinese business, owns TikTok, which has led to broad concerns about potential threats to national security. Legislators have questioned if the corporation is giving Chinese officials access to US user data. It’s not as Chinese, says ByteDance. Global investors, ByteDance workers, and the company’s founders each possess a 60-20-20 percent stake. (The founders’ shares, however, have disproportionate voting rights.)
In an effort to assuage fears, the business moved all US user traffic to servers run by American software giant Oracle during the course of the previous year and increased the proportion of US-based personnel on its trust and safety team.
After a study from the NGO Centre for Countering Digital Hate accused the app of boosting videos about eating disorders and self-harm to teenage users, it launched an algorithm re-trainer this year. To alleviate concerns highlighted in Congress, it also announced new parental screen time controls.