Thousands of TikTok fans in America have responded angrily (fair play) over reports saying President Donald Trump is "looking into" banning the app in the United States – due to its links with China and coronavirus. Some have even gone as far as threatening to wage "war" on the politician, who is hoping to be re-elected into power this coming November. So, yeah... it's all of a sudden a little more serious than ice cube tray hacks or hilarious recreations of ZARA ads in TikTok world.
Drilling down into the exact reasons why Trump is considering banning the hugely popular app, it seems there are two main roads of thought: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a recent interview that anybody who downloads the app runs the risk of putting "private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party." Something which has been strongly denied by TikTok.
The second reason? COVID-19. When asked to comment on Pompeo's reasons for the potential shut down, in an interview with Gray Television, Trump said, "It's a big business. Look, what happened with China with this virus, what they've done to this country and to the entire world is disgraceful."
Naturally, TikTok fans aren't going to let this one go down without a fight – and it's certainly not the first time teenage users have banded together to express their dislike of the President. Recently, an online campaign saw a Trump rally in Tulsa have an incredibly poor turnout, after users of the app (many of whom aren't old enough to vote) reserved tickets with zero intention of showing up.
In response to the new developments and the possibility of the app being taken down, nineteen-year-old TikTokker Yori Blacc said to Bloomberg, "For Gen Z and Millennials, TikTok is our clubhouse and Trump threatened it. If you’re going to mess with us, we will mess with you."
Another fan wrote on Twitter said that if "Trump bans TikTok he better prepare for war", while one with the username @trashynoah pointed out that this isn't the first app scrutinised over possibile of data security concerns – yet it's the only one Trump has discussed making illegal.
snapchat, twitter, instagram, facebook: *steals and sells personal data*— v(°∇^*)⌒☆ (@trashynoah) July 8, 2020
trump: i do not see it 😌🧚🏻✨
tiktok: steals and sells personal data, but has also become a massive platform for destroying his campaign and taking young votes away from him
trump:...im gonna ban that one
Since the news broke, Trump's own campaign app has been hit with a deluge of negative reviews, pushing it's rating way down on the app store.
In response to the threat of a US ban, TikTok said: "TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the US. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked."
Currently, US Navy and Army service people are already banned from downloading the app onto government issue phones, owing to fears of data being breached by the Chinese government, says a report from CNET, which also adds that the app was banned in India last week over similar concerns.
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