I am working on a piece about TikTok, and I am curious what my subscribers think.
Do you think the United States will ban TikTok in 2023? Why or why not?
Do you think the United States SHOULD ban TikTok? Why or why not?
This is the first I’m testing out a “Substack Chat” so please forgive me for any clunkiness you experience here. It may be the first and last chat.
1. No - I think there are too many users, too much money, and too much red tape to be able to ban it in any meaningful way
2. No - I do think there have been some ways it has been proven as a danger, but I think just as there is danger, there is also a lot of helpful things on there. Like the internet in general. Discipleship and teaching of stewardship of time, attention, impact of social media, being fully present in the physical world, influence of media on our minds, hearts, souls, etc becomes increasingly more important and vital to spiritual health and growth. This app being available or not is a big deal, but another would just take its place.
1. No. There is not enough collective political will to do this effectively in a bipartisan government. Also, it seems (in my very subjective perspective) that the wave for this story has already crested. There is no longer enough momentum to bring it about.
2. No. I have grave concerns about the impact of the platform from a social, developmental, and mental health perspective, but those would likely exist even if the company was fully owned by a US entity. An national security argument could be made based on the risks of foreign ownership of apps installed throughout a US user base, but that would necessarily need to be broad. Taking down one app would not be effective.
1. No, although it may warn people about using it.
2. No. Unless it can be truly shown to be a danger.
I do not think that the United States will ban TikTok in 2023 - I think it has become too big a part of the culture that there would be an outrage and folks would find a way to get around the ban anyway. Should they? I don’t know that I have many thoughts to add to this discussion, as I personally am not a user of TikTok. I have read some articles about the danger behind the platform and if it were to go away, I definitely wouldn’t complain about the decrease of social media usage within my youth group. For the safety of users? I need to read more about it before I add more but I’ll check back in the discussion later and see if I can add more thoughts.
-Chloe Crase (RYM church intern in Roanoke, VA)
1. No. Logistical and legal challenges are way too difficult and the threat isn't clear enough to overcome them (at the moment).
2. I wrote a piece here: https://www.entrepreneur.com/business-news/banning-tiktok-would-hurt-small-businesses-heres-what/449607
1) No, the US won't ban Tiktok, and if it does, it will do so by establishing a Ministry of Truth and banning all unapproved media.
2) Yes, the US *should* ban TikTok (and most social media) because:
a) Ad-driven 'social media' necessarily drives 'engagement', and the easiest way to do that is via outrage.
b) Ultrashort videos and 140 character posts by their very nature do not allow for reflection.
Neil Postman (_Amusing Ourselves To Death_) critiqued the TV-driven nature of 1980s politics, saying that it necessarily drove down the level of public discourse; things are much, much worse now.
Jason Lanier (_Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts RIGHT NOW_) goes into quite a bit of detail on why Social Media is bad for you and for society. There's a decent summary here:
I don't think they will ban it. However, apart from the Chinese spyware issue,political, and economic implications, a greater danger is the addling of minds. TikTok algorithms are having seriously detrimental effects on attention and learning see my posts TikTok-Time is running out to save our children's brains https://schooloftheunconformed.substack.com/p/tiktok-time-is-running-out-for-saving
and several others I have written on the social media/mental health topic https://schooloftheunconformed.substack.com/
Nope. It violates free speech. Though thankfully we'll all just circumvent it with Tor.
The internet is becoming more and more fractured. I'm pro-Ukraine but I am against RT Twitter being banned in the UK (as it was) because you can't ignore bad speech and just live in a bubble. Or rather, you CAN, but it should be your choice, you shouldn't be *forced* to live in a bubble if you don't want to.
1. No. I think it is more of an empty threat than anything. At worst they will pressure Apple and Google to remove it from their respective stores. Making a phone with the app on it more valuable much like Flappy Bird did a few years ago.
2. No. I think it sets a bad precedence. "If the government does not like something they can shut it down." If China really wants your info they either already have it or can get it. If the government really feels it is "spyware" then they should require government supplied phones of federal employees not install it. The US government requests and is given information from large tech companies on users regularly. There was a report in 2021 that showed that the US requested and received more than any other country. Users need to realize they are not anonymous in most if not all situations. If any government wants to know they can and will. It is the world we live in. Like it or not. Working in digital missions I know the risks. But the rewards of people coming to Christ is well worth it.
1. Don’t know.
2. My first inclination is yes, but realistically the answer is no. TikTok is a symptom of a much greater, deeper “disease.” Banning TikTok will in the big picture accomplish nothing in regards to security or otherwise.
1. No. Banning a platform as popular as TikTok would be extremely unpopular with young voters and would set a bad precedent. Because of this I think politicians would fear going all the way with that decision. I think it is more likely that they the US government would ban TikTok for federal employees and military when relevant.
2. No. I don't see TikTok as more damaging or dangerous to our nation than its predecessors. Whether China farms our personal info or Facebook farms our personal info which it then sells to China ... same end result. Also top-down bans on ways of communicating and sharing information is, again, a bad precedent. Perhaps TikTok shouldn't be a person's main source of information, but that's not really the governments decision to make.
1. No, I don't think we have the political will to stand up to China and our internal users. Also, the current administration has announced that their reelection campaign will use TikTok influencers as a way to win younger voters.
2. Yes. The damage being done to young people is catastrophic. Some studies show that TikTok will begin suggesting suicide to 13 year old users within 10-15 minutes. Also, we have real security risks. Those two reasons alone are worth banning it.
1. No. To much money involved and popularity that they won’t take it away
2. Maybe. For the same reasons as everyone else. But don’t think they will and another app or something similar will just replace it. And you know freedom of speech. Rather not live in a country that mandates things.
No, they should not. These kinds of Govt powers only ever grow, never roll back. And eventually the church will fall under the same category of 'damaging to the public good' and people will need to be 'protected from it'. If anyone's going to be free to speak, we all have to be free.
As a professor who teaches social media strategy and marketing courses for nonprofit students...
1. Not commercially but it will be banned from all government devices and IPs blocked on government and public institution networks. It will be banned for military personnel use too. It is hard to imagine that they will/can ban it commercially for private citizens.
2. No, it isn't that worrisome of a platform and most of the issues are saber rattling politicians trying to get screen time. Zoom has just as many privacy concerns from their Chinese malware laden applications.