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What’s With the TikTok Ban? | Maxine Mah

I’m sure you’ve heard about it already but in case you haven’t: TIKTOK’S BEING BANNED FOR THE 475th TIME IN A ROW!

Just kidding! … But not really.

As we all already know, President Trump has a pronounced distaste for China. With the novel coronavirus stunting the American economy and maybe even the presidential election in November of this year, Trump has very much announced that all things “China” are bad and the United States simply does not want it.

TikTok, a coping mechanism and essentially a life support system for many Gen-Z teens, created in Beijing, was thrown under fire earlier this year for stealing users’ information (sounds very familiar to something that happened with Facebook years ago, but you didn’t hear it from me). Thus, our president, prematurely claimed that the app has caused national security concerns (as if his claims against the Chinese government couldn’t get any more shocking), made the call in late August to ban TikTok completely from the U.S. Having already been banned from India and Hong Kong, Vanessa Pappas, the Interim Head of TikTok, released an announcement saying that TikTok wasn’t going anywhere and that the app will be taking legal action against the president. Meanwhile, many of the people using TikTok in the first place didn’t really seem to care that the app was potentially stealing information, they just wanted their content. So while the flurry of influencers filmed teary-eyed live videos on the app and shouting out their other social media handles, TikTok was actually in a lawsuit battle with the Trump administration. Great way to start the school year off if I do say so myself.All the shaken up alt-kids, and the nose-scrunching soft boys went back to business as usual, creating artful and skilled lipsyncing videos or insanely difficult 35-step dances for their fans to watch. Or so they thought…

The second wave of banning TikTok completely from America’s app stores started up again just recently. Everyone who thought the war was over was completely blindsided when earlier in the week, it was announced that TikTok and WeChat (a messaging service that mainly those in the Chinese community use) would be removed from both Apple and Google app stores on September 20th, 2020. But wait… that was a day ago, and TikTok and WeChat are still in the app store! What happened?

Well, unsurprisingly, Trump’s Commerce Department decided that maybe deleting TikTok off of the face of American soil could wait until after the election. Or maybe, a miracle contract that would give partial stakes of the company over to Oracle (a computer software company) and Walmart (I think we all know what Walmart is) would appear out of TikTok’s behind and save the day! Thankfully, the latter happened and the influencers we all came to know and love — of course teary-eyed once more — would not have to suffer another scare again.

As for WeChat, the ban has suspiciously been delayed, so it may very well be given the chop later on in the month. But I’m very happy to announce that TikTok, Gen-Z’s life support and escape from the true realities of CollegeBoard and “real life” (whatever that is) will, in fact, stay with us and won’t be disappearing from the app store any time soon…

Or will it?

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