The TikTok app is a video sharing social network where users can upload their videos through their phones. These videos are organized into different categories for people to browse and interact with. TikTok is owned by Beijing-based Internet technology company ByteDance, which was founded in 2012. After merging with Musical.ly in August 2018, TikTok became available worldwide. It now has offices around the world and has quickly gained popularity, gaining over 1 billion users in less than four years.
Teens also enjoy competing in various challenges that can be entered through trending hashtags on the app. For many of these users, getting likes, followers and getting their videos featured on the app are top priorities. Creating and sharing their own content is now a big part of how teenagers spend their time online. Young people are moving from being online spectators to content creators. This app can be a really creative, fun way for teens to express themselves and create their own social content.
Teens can send emojis to their favorite singers on TikTok. Users can first select the song they want to use in their video, then record themselves dubbing along to the music. The app has many ways to add more fun to the user’s videos, for example, options for slow-mo, time-lapse, fast-forward, filters, effects or even playing songs backwards.
TikTok Privacy Settings
In 2021, TikTok updated the app’s default privacy settings to set accounts for users aged 13-15 to private by default, restricting comments on posts from users in that age range to ‘friends’ or ‘ Limiting to ‘None’ includes disabling downloads. Video feature for users under 16 years of age, direct messaging and hosting of live streams to accounts 16 and over, and ban on purchasing, sending and receiving virtual gifts to users under 18 years of age install.
Can I Have a Private Account on TikTok?
TikTok accounts are public by default for users over the age of 15. Consider setting your account to private/friends only. Go to your profile using the head icon in the lower left corner and tap the three dots icon in the upper right corner. Select “Privacy and Settings” and click on “Privacy”. Here you can secure your account by making your account private. See image above. With a private account only approved users can see your videos, however, your profile remains public.
What are TikTok’s Security Issues?
TikTok, for its part, has moved US users’ data away from Chinese servers to Virginia, with backups in Singapore. The question of whether employees in China can still access US user data remains unanswered, though. TikTok’s US data transfer and commitment to “robust cybersecurity policies” have not eliminated all security concerns in the United States. US Senators Josh Hawley and Rick Scott claimed in a press release that ByteDance had members of the Chinese Communist Party on its board. He further suggested that the app cannot legally reject Beijing requests that it collects, some of which are collected even when users do not have the app open.
While the allegations have not led to an outright ban on the app, they have led several government agencies to ban the use of TikTok on official phones. These agencies include the State Department, the Department of Defense, the TSA, the Department of Homeland Security, the US Army, and the Pentagon. Some tech experts question whether TikTok is just a convenient foreign scapegoat on data privacy issues, as companies like Meta and Snapchat have also come under fire for questionable privacy and data practices. Another issue that has been raised is TikTok’s questionable behavior with its young user base. In 2019, two parents filed a class action lawsuit against ByteDance for collecting data from children under 13 without parental consent.
Even before the attack on Capitol Hill in January 2021, TikTok had banned all political ads, though the reality is that they made it easier to dispel the issue of campaign disinformation after the attack. But they may not get off so easily, as their algorithm seems to be the best at keeping politics off the platform. In a report by Fortune, TikTok allowed 90% of fake political ads to go through despite banning such ads. This raises the question of which organizations could use or abuse flaws in TikTok’s algorithm to influence political outcomes.
Important Points about TikTok Ban in USA
- Several US government agencies have raised concerns about TikTok’s data security and privacy practices, even banning TikTok for US users.
- TikTok is a fast rising star on the social media scene, with over 1 billion active users worldwide in 2021.
- Despite its popularity, two US presidents and several government agencies have expressed concern over TikTok’s data practices and lack of security.
- This isn’t the first time ByteDance has faced a ban on its social media platform.
The History Behind the TikTok Ban
On August 6, 2020, President Trump first attempted to ban TikTok in the United States by outlawing Byte Dance and transactions between US citizens. He backtracked eight days later with another executive order ordering ByteDance to divest its US TikTok business for 90 days or sell it to an American firm.
In June 2021, President Biden rescinded Trump’s executive order, but launched an investigation into security threats posed by TikTok. By June 2022, buzz had resurfaced about backdoor access to US consumer data by employees in China. A reason for the stalled investigations by U.S. agencies, a response to how free speech on the U.S. Internet is affected when a Chinese app is hosted that violates foreign trade policy, Addresses political ideologies, international data issues. Security and more.
The decisions the government makes about regulations or bans on this teen-fueled short-form video app could set a precedent for how Facebook and other juggernauts like YouTube will battle, legally and politically, for years to come. How is it handled? Still, questions about security and privacy remain as TikTok insists that user data is securely stored in Oracle cloud servers in the US
Several Reasons about TikTok Ban
TikTok’s success in hooking Gen Z to their phones isn’t necessarily a good or bad thing, that’s a different discussion. Taking its place in the zeitgeist, however, it makes the ban politically dangerous for a number of reasons.
It will be very unpopular. The unbiased youth vote is critical right now, and any president, senator, or representative who supports such a ban will be closely watched by youth. Already far removed from technology and the preferences of the younger generation, DC will now also be seen as the entertainment police. Whether it sways voters or causes them not to vote, it has no good results. Banning TikTok doesn’t save votes and it’s fatal before you even start thinking about how to do it.
There is no clear path to restriction. The FCC cannot do this. The feds can’t force Apple and Google to do so. Congress will not. An executive order won’t do that (too broad). No judge would do that (no plausible case). All ban routes are impractical for one reason or another.
Imagine if the government somehow forced Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their stores and remotely wipe or disable it on phones. No one likes that look – companies look too weak and too strong, letting the feds push them around and then showing their power to reach out and touch “your” device. An IP-based ban would be easily circumvented, but it also sets another unpleasant censorship precedent that, ironically, will make the US look a lot like China. And even if either or both of them were tried, they would be opposed in court not only by ByteDance, but also by companies around the world who don’t want the same thing to happen to them. It doesn’t like it.
Commissioner Carr’s comments came in an interview with Axios, during which he said he doesn’t believe “anything short of a ban” will be enough to protect Americans from data collection by Chinese companies and authorities. This is not the first time Kerr has expressed this idea. After BuzzFeed News revealed the data errors through leaked internal communications, it wrote to Apple and Google in June.
The reason for this is simple: it would be political self-sabotage. TikTok isn’t just a wildly popular app, it’s the life raft that a generation that abandoned the great ships Facebook, Instagram, and soon Twitter has clung to for years. And that’s because American companies haven’t come close to replicating TikTok’s feat of algorithmic addiction.
Is TikTok Getting Banned
TikTok was prohibited in India and other nations because of privacy concerns and possible ties to the Chinese government. The issue stems from the presumption that Chinese businesses cannot reject requests from the Communist Party for access to their user data. Despite TikTok’s denial that it shares user data with Chinese authorities, many nations have partially or completely banned the app due to their suspicions.
In India, is Tiktok prohibited?
One of 59 Chinese apps that were blocked in India as a result of a border dispute between China and India was Tiktok. Due to the user data it gathers, Indian officials deemed the app to be a threat to the security and integrity of the nation.
How likely is TikTok to be Banned in the US?
While a total ban on TikTok in the US is possible, a lot of water would have to go under the bridge for that to happen anytime soon. Aside from not allowing the app on official phones, the federal government has so far done little to regulate TikTok, barring it for all US users. Congress has enacted many federal data privacy laws, and it is difficult to regulate data security or privacy with laws that do not yet exist.
The Biden administration’s investigation is ongoing, and the results have yet to be reported. The Treasury Department’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States is still in talks with TikTok to try to work out a security deal. Negotiations continue as the U.S. and China perform a delicate dance balancing their views on regulating content and data with profitability and autonomy. We’ve been hearing for years how TikTok collects data globally and presents it to its parent company in China, and possibly the powers that be. But despite renewed calls from FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr today, the popular app is unlikely to be banned outright. This does not mean that it will be allowed to continue with impunity.
Does Russia have a Ban on TikTok?
Although the majority of social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, are blocked in Russia, TikTok is still accessible. Russian users can only see older videos published by accounts with a Russian location because TikTok has blocked all new and non-Russian content since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. However, you may get full access to TikTok in Russia by using a VPN.
In Indonesia, is TikTok Prohibited?
In 2018, TikTok was briefly outlawed in Indonesia but the restriction was later removed after the business agreed to regulate some of its material. Concerns about pornography, improper content, and blasphemy served as the justification for the prohibition.
Is Bangladesh banning TikTok?
TikTok is back in operation in Bangladesh after a brief period of suspension, albeit with significant restrictions. Ten films were removed as part of this censoring on government objections. According to Bangladeshi officials, there are currently no intentions to outlaw the app.
Tiktok is an entertainment app for all the users in the worldwide but some countries banned TikTok. But there are few countries who again allowed to use TikTok app if they want to do. The use of TikTok depends on user because there are positive messages and other things are available on TikTok and that is the main reason in Islamic countries that it is banned in such countries.