Florida Senator Marco Rubio Proposes TikTok Ban

By Rachel Bacchus

  Over the past decade, a large number of social media platforms have come as a result of the success of Twitter and Facebook. One of the most popular of these platforms is TikTok, a video sharing platform owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. Within the past several years, the app has gained a total of one billion users, with many students of Ponte Vedra High School (PVHS) using the app as well. The app has been at the forefront of spreading information on multiple controversies, with many people using it for the purpose of social justice. This has led to a number of politicians criticizing the app, but it wasn’t until recently that a formal proposal to ban TikTok gained traction.

  Florida Senator Marco Rubio put forth a bipartisan bill with the aim of banning TikTok under the concern that the app may pose a national security risk due to its roots in China. “What we would ban is [TikTok’s] ability to make money in this country,” said Senator Rubio. “And the reason is because [TikTok is] basically a wholly owned subsidiary of the Communist Party of China.” Rubio also aims for the ban of TikTok due to political reasons, stating that “we know it’s used to manipulate feeds and influence elections,” implying that the Chinese government could also be using TikTok interfere in the recent election results.

  Rubio’s bill isn’t the first to be proposed. Previous attempts to ban TikTok, such as when former President Donald Trump proposed the idea in 2020, were shot down by federal courts, as they argued that doing so could be a potentially breach of the First Amendment. Despite this, the current proposal has gained a larger following of other Republican representatives, with the Democrats being split on the issue. Democrat Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi has gone on record supporting the bill’s proposal. “I think everyone is uneasy about TikTok,” said Krishnamoorthi.

  Unsurprisingly, students have also taken interest in the topic and a number of students have developed particularly interesting opinions. “I agree with TikTok being banned. China recently passed the act that takes TikTok’s rights to its metadata collected by its A.I. or the metadata of its users, now leaving it in the ownership of the Chinese Intelligence Department,” said Sean Vangura, a junior at PVHS. “TikTok’s shares were also bought by the Chinese government, which ceases private ownership of data.” While many students across the school share the sentiment that TikTok should be banned, some students do believe that the banning of TikTok goes too far. “Regardless of the information going to China, I think banning TikTok completely would go too far,” said Carissa Talbert, a senior at PVHS. Carissa understands the possible risks that come with leaving TikTok unbanned, but still believes that it would be an overstep by the government to do so.

  With the bill gaining more support as time passes, and even President Joe Biden banning TikTok from being downloaded on federal devices, the total ban of TikTok in the United States could very well come to pass. For the time being, one should conduct their own research into the situation and come to their own conclusions on the matter.


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