Why is Trump trying to ban TikTok when he should be focusing on other things?



The battle of Trump versus Tiktok, an entertainment app, is at the risk of being shut down in the U.S, amidst the chaos of everything happening in 2020.

Anisa Alam, Staff Writer

TikTok, a highly addictive app, quickly became a prominent part of internet culture. The app has over 100 million users in the U.S alone, and the number rises every month.  As TikTok has grown more popular, so has Donald Trump’s dislike of the app. He has openly regarded it as an enemy to his presidency and has made various efforts to shut down the app. 

Beginning in July 2020, the Trump administration announced they were considering banning TikTok in the U.S. This immediately created an uproar among the millions of users who felt it was unfair and a waste of time and power. TikTok has also been facing bans in other countries, Pakistan being the latest to accuse TikTok of testing social norms and allowing users to produce “vulgar” content.

Banning TikTok to limit people’s expression whenever it doesn’t fit in society is putting people in boxes and isn’t a valid reason to shut down a platform for creative expression. Not everyone is going to have the same conservative ideals, and it is important to embrace originality rather than try to squash it by taking away a medium for creativity. People will always find another app or platform to continue expressing themselves, so it is better to accept TikTok as it is. 

After an initial failed attempt at shutting down the app, TikTok filed a lawsuit against Trump, saying he overstepped his boundaries and tried to breach freedom of speech. The Trump administration argued that it was a matter of national security because the app collects data on it’s U.S users. They believe the Chinese owners would release the information of American users to the Chinese government, an idea that is entirely baseless, as the owners have repeatedly stated. 

While it is true TikTok takes users’ information, it’s odd that Trump is only targeting the Chinese-owned app while other big corporations such as Google and Instagram also take personal information. TikTok has additionally added regulations and safety measures to protect underage users, showing they are taking complaints into account. 

The fact that Trump chose to focus his attention on trivial matters such as an entertainment app is slightly concerning considering the more dire matters our country is facing. Banning TikTok can be seen as cutting our freedom of speech, as it is an app where creators can express their views and make content. By attempting to ban this app, Trump risks violating the First Amendment because it eliminates the expression of TikTok users communicating with one another through their platforms. 

In comparison to the issues of Coronavirus, climate change, violations of Black rights, and so much more, banning an app seems frivolous and not something the president should be focusing his energy on.