BROCKPORT, NY- The fate of TikTok hangs in the balance as the Trump administration spearheads a campaign against them on the grounds of national security.
ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, has defended itself in court and even won temporary reprieve from a federal judge. Competitors of the platform are using this as an opportunity to poach their users.
The Trump Administration began denouncing the popular social media app TikTok in late July just a month after it’s users had bought thousands of tickets to Trump’s Tulsa campaign rally, only to leave their seats empty during the event.
Then, on August 6th the President invoked the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and made an executive order that would prevent any further downloads or transactions within the United States by September 20th, naming TikTok as a threat to national security.
The threat that TikTok poses isn’t very concerning to avid user and Brockport resident Casey Deliburto.
“It’s just a social media app and whatever information they could use is already on there, why take it away from all the people who use it?,” said Deliburto.
President Trump also signed a separate executive order on August 14th forcing ByteDance to hand their US services over to an American company that will handle the data for Americans in order to eliminate the danger of our data falling into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.
On September 19th, Oracle, an American multinational internet technology company, announced its partnership with TikTok for their operations in the United States. On this same day, Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison donated $250,000 to Senator Lindsey Graham’s Security is Strength PAC.
U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols issued a preliminary injunction on September 23rd, delaying the ban deadline to November 12th. The judge submitted this injunction on the grounds that a ban preventing users from downloading and using the app would be a violation of the first amendment, also because personal communications and informational material are not subject to regulation by the President under the I.E.E.P. act.
Two weeks ago, the Trump administration and the Department of Justice seeking to move forward with their ban argued that the Judge did not accurately assess the threat that TikTok poses to national security. The DOJ also argued that because it is considered a threat to national security the President must have the authority to regulate it.
As the courts wait for a response from ByteDance and the ban deadline is moving closer, the fate of TikTok is uncertain. This uncertainty and the slew of court proceedings have left many people confused as to what’s happening with the ban.
“It seems like the boy who cried wolf, I was hearing about the ban a while ago when everyone was saying it’s getting banned but nothing ended up happening, I don’t think it’ll be banned,” said Brockport student Kailee Miller.
“I downloaded the app two months ago and I use it daily, I really hope they don’t ban it, I don’t want to find something new because I’m afraid it won’t be the same,” said Brockport student Ahjah Hamilton.
Many current TikTok users share this feeling, which is why it’s important to remember that Music.lly, the app TikTok evolved from, gained much of its popularity shortly after the similar app Vine was shut down by Twitter. If the TikTok platform were to cease in the United states, we may witness another exodus of social media users to other platforms.
Potential TikTok Rival Triller has seen tremendous growth over the last few months. In addition to an endorsement by President Trump, the company has used various high-value items and cash incentives to persuade content creators to switch to the Triller platform. Some of these creators include Noah Beck, Jasmine Txo, and other internet personalities.
TikTok has proven to be a powerhouse application with over 800 million active users. Currently facing many challenges including the attempted ban, the forced partnership and growing competition, the future is uncertain for the popular app.