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OPINION: Should TikTok Be Banned in the U.S.?

By Michael Regateiro | April 1, 2024 

On Wednesday, March 13, 2024, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would lead to a ban on the popular social media video app TikTok if ByteDance, a China-based internet company, doesn’t sell TikTok to an American-based company within roughly a six month time period. 

The bill passed by a vote of 352-66 and is now on its way to the Senate, however, the Senate is undecided on the issue compared to the House. President Joe Biden has stated that if the bill goes through Congress, he will sign it.


In recent years, TikTok has gone under intense investigation in the United States over how it handles data gathering and whether it imposes a national security risk. A law implemented by China in 2017 requires all companies in China to give the government any personal data relevant to Chinese national security. In the growing tensions between China and the US, many federal lawmakers assert that ByteDance is beholden to the Chinese government because of the 2017 law that requires ByteDance to hand over personal data of American citizens to the Chinese government thus imposing a supposed national security risk to Americans. 

This is not the first time legislators have put restrictions on Tik Tok. Previously, the app was banned on government devices used by the military. In February 2023, the White House told all federal agencies that they had 30 days to delete the app from all government-issued devices. More than two dozen states have also banned TikTok on government-issued devices and colleges across the U.S. are starting to block it from campus Wi-Fi networks. So, with all of this in mind, should the U.S. government go further and implement a complete ban on TikTok for all American citizens?

In my opinion, no. 

Banning TikTok would immediately eliminate a platform where 170 million Americans can discuss their views and receive information about things that are happening in the world. A TikTok ban would completely erase a vital place for Americans to speak and be heard. Hundreds of millions of Americans depend upon TikTok to communicate and express their ideas and many even make a living off the social media app. Banning TikTok would be a complete infringement on the free speech rights of Americans. 

The American Civil Liberties Union has stated that banning TikTok would have, “profound implications to our constitutional right to free speech and free expression because millions of Americans rely on the app every day for information, communication, advocacy, and entertainment.” In 2023, a federal court in Montana ruled that Montana’s attempted ban would violate Montanans’ first amendment free speech rights. Banning TikTok is a clear violation of constitutional rights for Americans under the first amendment. 

Is TikTok as much of a national security threat as many federal lawmakers like to claim it is? 

The short answer is no. U.S. intelligence has produced no evidence that TikTok has ever been in coordination or worked with the Chinese government. In congressional testimony, leaders of the CIA, FBI, and the director of national intelligence have all never highlighted that China has ever coordinated with TikTok. CIA director William Burns stated to CNN in 2022 that it was, “troubling to see what the Chinese government could do to manipulate TikTok.” Keep in mind that he was concerned with what they could do and not what they had done. It seems as if the U.S. government is unfairly targeting TikTok because it is Chinese-owned. 

There are also issues within the U.S. that need much more attention from our government that are not getting the same attention that the TikTok controversy is getting. TikTok is an app that brings more awareness to societal and political issues. 

Some of these issues involve millions of Americans that are unable to pay off their student loans, rising healthcare costs, Americans that are affected by mass shootings and gun related deaths, climate change, reproductive and LGBTQ rights, poverty, and many more. 

Banning TikTok would bring much less awareness that these issues need for us to solve them. We live in a time where America has many political, economic, and societal problems that need more discussion and awareness. Banning a platform that so many young future leaders use to spread ideas and problem solve would be a tragedy and a disservice to them. 

In the current political climate, a ban on TikTok seems to be another way that Congress is diverting from solving real issues that impact the daily lives of Americans. There is no evidence that TikTok is as much of a national security threat as the government says it is. 

Banning TikTok shuts down the speech of millions of Americans and limits the ability for our future leaders to spread ideas and solve problems.

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