...By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.
UK TikTokers express concerns over US state ban on TikTok
UK TikTokers are voicing their fears and concerns following the ban imposed by the US state of Montana on the popular social media app.
The legislation, signed by Governor Greg Gianforte, prohibits TikTok, which is owned by a Chinese company, from appearing on certain websites within the state.
Growing tensions between US states and TikTok have arisen due to concerns over its ties to the Chinese government in recent years.
The ban specifically targets the app’s presence in Google and Apple’s app stores, but does not impose sanctions on individuals using the app.
Legal challenges are anticipated for the ban, which is set to take effect on January 1, 2024.
Prior to the enactment of the legislation, TikTok released a statement claiming that the ban infringed upon the First Amendment rights of Montana residents, describing it as an unlawful restriction.
The company pledged to continue advocating for the rights of its users within and outside of Montana.
The US federal government, as well as more than half of the states, have already banned TikTok on government devices.
Furthermore, the Biden administration has threatened a nationwide ban unless the app’s parent company divests its shares.
At a congressional hearing held in March, TikTok’s CEO, Shou Zi Chew, defended the company’s ties with China and responded to questions regarding the app’s impact on the mental health of its young users.
Reactions from UK TikTokers
The ban in Montana prompted UK TikTokers to share their opinions on the matter.
Martin Lewis, the founder of Money Saving Expert, initiated a discussion on Twitter, asking followers how they would feel if the UK were to outlaw the personal use of TikTok for security reasons.
In response, Iwiizkiid suggested implementing control and restrictions in specific environments, such as schools and sensitive organizations, emphasizing the importance of cyber awareness and training.
Topherdom advocated for a ban on TikTok, not solely for security reasons, but for the well-being of children using the app.
MiphaUK questioned the rationale behind banning TikTok for surveillance purposes while other social media platforms remain accessible.
However, UKFilmTVCritic held a different perspective, viewing TikTok as a new competitor to other platforms, with superior content.
This individual accused other platforms of engaging in anti-competitive practices to suppress competition.
TanujWhitley called on lawmakers to reconsider the ban, suggesting that instead of outright prohibition, regulations should be enacted to govern how the app operates and handles user data.
Blindsart1 pointed out that even if TikTok were to be banned, another similar platform would inevitably emerge, citing the examples of Vine and TikTok itself.
UK ban on TikTok
It is worth noting that the US is not the only country to have banned TikTok on government devices, as the UK, Canada, and the European Commission have also implemented their own restrictions.
Concerns are now arising among many in the UK that the ban could potentially extend to millions of regular users.
In response to the UK government’s ban on TikTok on their devices, the company stated that they believe these bans are rooted in misunderstandings and influenced by broader geopolitical factors, in which TikTok and its UK user base play no role.