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Iron Blade

PRO/CON Commentary: TikTok Should Not Be Banned

TikTok has caused much fear and uproar on some sides but also support and widespread use on others.

TikTok is trending to be the first social media app to be banned nationwide by the U.S. Congress. This would be a mistake.

The bill gives ByteDance six months to either sell the app or face the ban. The selling part would move it from Beijing to America. TikTok has had battles before dealing with this issue, and they’ve fought back.

It was funny to see Congress give the reasons why it should be banned. I remember one official asking: Does TikTok connect to my WiF?

I’m thinking to myself: Your phone does. To use anything on your phone you need WiFi.

Watching that whole thing was embarrassing because they kept interrupting TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew. Every time he said something, they’d cut him off to try and to prove a point. The whole thing proved that some people should not be in charge of new technology or social media; they just looked dumb.

It boils down to this:  Something from a foreign country is doing well, and they can’t control it. Like any social media platform, TikTok has its reasons for being popular.

It’s addicting. The For You page is a feed that caters to the individual. I can scroll there for 15 minutes and not even notice it. The videos can be anywhere from 10 seconds up to three minutes. The app asks people what types of things they like or what their interests are. Slowly over time the algorithm will pick up on preferences and start showing them more.

TikTok keeps growing and adding new things to the app.

A big thing it added was the TikTok marketplace. It has helped so many small businesses grow for free. It’s hard to make money off other apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The way it’s helped business grow can’t be copied by other apps. Instagram and Twitter make money off people now with subscriptions.

TikTok’s thing is, if you want monetization you don’t need a blue check. All people need is to be 18+ along with 100,000 views within the past month, which isn’t hard if the individual posts constantly. It only takes one video to get that mark if it stays on the FYP (For You Page) long enough.

The other way people make money on the FYP, especially YouTubers or Twitch streamers, is by putting their lives on TikTok, which can make the FYP and helps small creators get exposure.

A person to look at is this streamer called Caseoh. He was working a regular job but trying to become a full streamer he posted a clip on TikTok, and it exploded. Many people then went to his stream . It helped him become one of the biggest and most popular gaming streamer. This happened to many small creators. Instagram has tried coping TikTok’s algorithm with Instagram reels but most of the time they are posted from TikTok. 

Banning TikTok would be taking away an amendment right–the First Amendment.

The only thing Congress talks about every time they try to ban TikTok is that China is stealing our data and watching over the American people. First off, why isn’t Instagram or other social media being targeted like this?

The reason is because they are owned by the US. I can go on other social media platforms and instantly see stuff I’m interested in or looking for. It’s okay, though, because it’s not from China. With TikTok becoming so big so quickly, the government became scared of it. They don’t like the fact that they can’t have it, so they want to destroy it.

Banning TikTok isn’t going to fix all the issues in the world. It should be the least of the government’s worries. How about worrying about the increasing problem with fentanyl? Or how about dealing with school shootings?

Congress is also scared because this issue deals with the internet.

The people in charge shouldn’t be dealing with it. The younger generation that understands it should be the ones dealing with it. People get scared of things they don’t understand and just want to get rid of it. TikTok will probably end up being sold since it is banned in other countries.

If the U.S. bans it, too, they won’t have as big of an an audience, and people will start leaving the app. 

If TikTok is banned, someone is just going to come up with another app that does the same thing. Banning it serves no purpose. If the app is scary, delete it and move on.

Why ruin other people’s day because a bunch of elected officials don’t understand it?

Besides, recent court documents allege that Facebook gave Netflix all its users’ private messages on Messenger in exchange for all Netflix users’ watch history. Netflix allegedly paid them $100M+ for ads.

Hey Congress–how about this one?

Please see opposing view here.

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About the Contributor
Cody Gibson
Cody Gibson, Sports Editor
Hi, my name is Cody Gibson but everyone on campus calls me “CG”. I’m currently a junior here. My major is Mass Media and Communications. I’m from Salem, VA which is about an hour away from here, so Ferrum feels like a second home. I play football here. I play Free Safety, wearing number 20. The job I want to pursue after college is a game day announcer or have a podcast that either talks about football or something else that interests me. Some of the things I like to do are working out, being outside, watching football, and chill on the weekends.
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