However, some students who supported the ban pointed to matters of security.
Along with the app taking away teenagers’ time and having damaging effects on their mental health, it can possibly be a threat to our country. Due to China’s authoritarian government, they could possibly collect all our personal data we have entered into TikTok. China could also influence the way we view their country by promoting certain videos, and hiding others. It even was reported that spies in China have collected different IP Addresses, and that’s a horribly scary thing.
— Stella, Hoggard High School, Wilmington, NC
The lawmakers’ concerns about TikTok come with a completely reasonable stance. ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, already had a shady track record with employees supposedly spying on and stealing private information of American journalists; having a nugget of mistrust in the platform is more than justified. Especially with China’s strict censorship and authoritarian policies and their potential to influence American people with Chinese ideas and agenda, TikTok can be considered a sociopolitical nuke from American perspective.
— Justin, ROK
If TikTok continues to be owned by China, the United States should 1000% ban TikTok. Since TikTok’s user data is essentially owned by China, and TikTok is inextricably linked with China, the social media app is a national security risk. In order to protect the United States and its citizens, the U.S. Government should ban TikTok.
— Annabelle, Los Angeles, CA
And many favored the ban for a different reason: It could improve their mental health.
I believe TikTok should be banned. While I don’t agree that banning TikTok would dramatically help the concerns of privacy, I think the concern of influencing young minds is much more the reason it should be banned … I think specifically the formatting of TikTok is extremely harmful to young brains. As someone who currently works in day care, interning in an elementary school, I am exposed almost every day to the realities that young children are facing. It is extremely nerve-racking to hear children ages 5-12 spend hours a day on TikTok. Childhood is our prime years where opinions and identities are being formed. Spending hours a day on social media can have a detrimental effect on the next generation. Creating a time limit and asking parents to monitor screen time is not helpful because kids will find a way around it and still have access to the app. The only way to fix this is by banning TikTok completely …
— Julia, Newport High School
I wholeheartedly believe that TikTok should be banned. This statement should leave you to believe that I don’t spend just as much time on TikTok as the next person, because I do. Just yesterday I spent 2 hours and 36 minutes on it … My experience on TikTok has led to so many issues, some that may seem small and silly but really it’s just sad. I, along with countless others, have spent thousands of hours on TikTok since it came out and this has led to body issues, a decline in mental health, and much more horrible things.
— Raney, Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC
Personally I think TikTok should be banned because of all the stuff that lies within this platform. For starters, people that are in a young age (under the age of 13+) could easily bypass the age restriction and say they’re older. People can upload videos to TikTok, all the videos such as educational, memes, cooking, and more. The terms of service (TOS) claim that you can’t make videos that are threatening and even more, but people still do it, videos from gun violence and “challenges.”
— Jayden, Kennedy Middle School