By Izayah Morgan
On March 23, 2023 TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew sat down to defend the app being banned in front of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
The common argument is that TikTok provides a gateway for kids to see inappropriate content when they are not age appropriate.
Advice for parents out there, stop letting your kids lie about their age on TikTok or any social media apps for that matter when they sign up. TikTok as well as other social media have infrastructure in place so that kids of certain ages do not see certain content that would be inappropriate for their age range.
Monitor what your kids are doing online when you can, I know it's much easier said than done, right? But right now we are in the prime of the digital age. Instead of actually teaching your kids about internet safety or monitoring your kids, they'll just be thrown on to technology for hours on end.
I am not innocent as my experience babysitting little ones in my family has me making these same mistakes.
Another criticism included the security risk that TikTok “supposedly posed.” It was argued multiple times throughout the hearing that TikTok sends gathered information such as face, search history, and watch/like history to the Chinese government.
Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers stated in her opening statement, “Mr. Chew, you are here because the American people need the truth about the threat TikTok poses to our national and personal security.”
However, this claim has been criticized because it did not hold much weight due to lack of evidence.
TikTok is not available in China due to multiple reasons. Chew responded to these claims by stating, “ByteDance is not owned or controlled by the Chinese government. It is a private company.”
The hearing felt as if older generations who have a limited view on current technology were asking questions on something they did not fully grasp.
However, many expressed that Chew could not defend himself and struggled to make his case. For example, Lindsay Gorman, head of technology and geopolitics at the German Marshall Fund, stated to the New York Times, “The future of TikTok in the U.S. is definitely dimmer and more uncertain today.”
This TikTok ban has been a real possibility. Due to the national security risk that TikTok poses, certain universities and colleges around the country have banned TikTok use on the school WiFi.
There are over 100 million Americans, or one in every three Americans, who use TikTok. It's safe to say that many will not be happy if this ban goes through. Some solutions would include sending a message to your U.S. representative, sending a message to your senator, and sending a message to the president!
If TikTok gets banned, here are some things you can do to get prepared. If you're a content creator remove all the water marks from your videos and back them all up. If you are a content consumer make sure to follow your favorite TikTok creators and follow them on other platforms.