Do You Know Countries Are Banning TikTok? Here’s Why
TikTokers, hear up!
In the current times when job opportunities are persistently dwindling, digital platforms like TikTok, YouTube and Instagram are a great source of hope for the ones who run away from the monotonous desk jobs. Ever since these platforms came to the tech world, creativity has been ever flowing and it actually feels great when it gets paid off at the end of the day; after all, the creators too are creating content with a lot of hard work and passion.
The app has gained popularity among young people, but it has also faced accusations for allegedly violating users' privacy and raising questions about possible connections to the Chinese government. As a result, the app is now prohibited or restricted in a number of nations worldwide.
In fact, India was the first nation to outlaw TikTok in June 2020, claiming issues with data privacy and national security. The action was viewed as a part of a larger crackdown on Chinese apps and businesses in light of the escalating tensions between the two nations. On Monday, TikTok was removed from government-issued mobile devices in Canada, following an identical removal from the European Union a week earlier.
Government officials are paying closer attention to TikTok, which has more than 100 million monthly active users in the U.S., because of concern that user data may end up in the hands of the Chinese government, which might then use the app as a weapon to spread misinformation.
Here's what you need to know about this sudden ban of TikTok by countries worldwide.
Why are countries banning TikTok?
Unsurprisingly, it all comes down to the Chinese government.
Western legislators and authorities have grown more concerned that TikTok and its parent firm, ByteDance, may provide the Chinese government access to private user data, such as location data. They have cited legal provisions that permit the Chinese government to covertly request information from Chinese businesses and individuals for intelligence collection purposes.
They are also concerned that China might spread false information via TikTok's content recommendations. However, TikTok has long denied such allegations and has distanced itself from ByteDance.
Can the US government ban the app?
Majority of the existing TikTok bans have been imposed by governments and educational institutions with the authority to forbid an app from being used on their networks or devices.
According to Caitlin Chin, a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a more extensive government-imposed restriction that prevents Americans from using an app that allows them to share their opinions and artwork may be legally challenged on First Amendment grounds. After all, a sizable portion of Americans now create films for TikTok, including prominent news institutions like The New York Times and The Washington Post and public figures.
Chin said- “In democratic governments, the government can’t just ban free speech or expression without very strong and tailored grounds to do so, and it’s just not clear that we have that yet.”
What has the Biden administration got to do?
Although the White House recently mentioned an ongoing assessment in response to inquiries regarding TikTok, things have generally remained quiet.
In order to resolve concerns about TikTok and ByteDance's relations with the Chinese government and the handling of user data, TikTok has been in secret talks with the administration's review panel for years, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Since the submission of a 90-page proposal in August outlining its plans to operate in the US while addressing national security concerns, TikTok has claimed that it hasn't heard much at all.
What is TikTok’s response to this?
The prohibitions have been described as “political theatre” by TikTok, which also blasted politicians for trying to regulate Americans. Separately, TikTok has been making an effort to win over supporters. Most recently, the company made an out of the ordinary push in Washington to meet with key think tanks, public interest organizations, and lawmakers in order to forward the proposal it submitted to the government.
How are Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter's privacy and security issues different from those of TikTok? The biggest problem appears to be Chinese ownership. Opponents of the efforts to prohibit the platform have pointed out that all social media networks participate in widespread gathering of their members' data.
A non-profit digital rights organization called Fight for the Future recently launched the #DontBanTikTok campaign in an effort to divert politicians' focus away from TikTok and towards the development of data and privacy regulations that would include all Big Tech corporations.
Robyn Caplan, a senior researcher at Data & Society Research Institute said- “The general consensus from the privacy community is that TikTok collects a lot of data, but it’s not out of step with the amount of data collected by other apps.”
It’s true; TikTok has been a favorite among the GenZ. However, when it comes to national security and data privacy, steps like these are required.
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