The TikTok Mess

Gali Aseo, Journalist


Musically was an app created August 4, 2014. It was a comedy app with 15 second long videos. This app was created by twins whose names are Lisa and Lena. Two years after the app was released, it was an internet sensation and most kids and teens had it installed on their devices. Lisa and Lena ended up selling musically to a Chinese owned app called Byte Dance. Byte Dance ended up renaming musically to TikTok. At first, all the Musically users were upset because it was sold and renamed, but now TikTok is rated the top most downloaded app of 2020 right on top of Zoom.

Tiktok was doing really good up until the last few months. President Donald Trump has announced a ban on TikTok twice now. But why? Well, apparently the company and its Chinese owner company Byte Dance, are taking private videos known as drafts without the users knowing. The concerns that come up is that data collected by TikTok could be used to identify and track TikTok users in the United States. If this is true, the company benefits because it uses their users data to sell targeted ads. TikTok videos usually have close-ups of people’s faces, which allows the company to gather what’s called “biometric” data on its users. A lawsuit has said that once a user records a video and clicks the “next” button, the videos are transferred to various domains without their knowledge. This happens before users even save or post a video on the app, the lawsuit says. Another lawsuit also states that TikTok can get other information including “the users phone and social network contacts, email addresses, IP address, location and other information.” 

So what does the future look like for TikTok? Well, there have been rumors of Oracle and Walmart, two famous American companies sharing most ownership of TikTok. President Donald Trump did not care what happened to TikTok. He just wanted it owned by an American company so that data wouldn’t be sold and transferred to the Chinese government. Some people have a theory that the only reason president Donald Trump didn’t like TikTok is that most people on TikTok are very against him. For instance, one of his rallies you could RSVP for a seat for free. This gave the TikTok community an idea. A Lot of people RSVP’d for a seat and did not attend. The paparazzi took photos of the president after the event looking sad and disappointed. For his following rally, the seats were no longer free but cost money to attend. This led the TikTok community to think that the president knew and wanted to ban TikTok because of that incident.