Why are Countries Banning TikTok?

By Kaden Scharnow

TikTok is something most of us are familiar with. The viral social media platform has solidified itself into the lives of many, especially the newer generations. Some could go so far as to say that the world wouldn’t be the same without it. But in some parts of the world, people aren’t allowed on the app, or even have no idea what it is.

The countries that have, or have had bans on the app are Canada, the United States, Taiwan, the European Union, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Many of these countries haven’t established a full ban for all of its citizens, but specific government officials and agencies. 

One of the more popular bans on Tiktok was enacted in the United States. Tiktok was banned under the Trump administration in 2020, due to suspicion of it being a national security threat. It was later revoked by the Biden administration. The ban caused a lot of uproar among US citizens, as TikTok was (and still is) one of the most popular social media apps in the country. Just recently, the Biden Administration enacted another TikTok ban on government platforms due to security concerns. Most countries in the EU have banned TikTok due to similar concerns. The European Parliament set a ban that will take effect on March 20th, banning TikTok from the devices of members of parliament and staff. Canada also followed through with their own ban on government devices having TikTok installed. 

The other few countries have completely banned TikTok for separate reasons. India set a ban on TikTok and many other Chinese apps because of a dispute at the Indian-Chinese border that resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and many other injuries. Pakistan and Afghanistan have both imposed bans on the app, primarily to protect the younger generation from some ‘immoral’ content that can be found on the app. And Taiwan enacted its own ban due to the FBI’s warning of the app being a national security risk. Taiwan has also had tense relations with China, further encouraging the ban being enacted.

One of the main reasons all these countries have in common with their bans is the risk of espionage. Ever since the incident with the Chinese spy balloons over the US and other tense relations some countries have had with China, it seems like these governments are finally cracking down on the risks. Many believe that more bans on the app will be enacted, much to the public’s dismay. Now, all people can wonder is: how will China react to the allegations? Will tensions rise? Was the ban necessary? People can only wait to find out. 

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