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What are the arguments for banning TikTok?

What are the arguments for banning TikTok?


TikTok has become one of the most popular social media apps around the world, especially among young people. However, there are concerns about its data practices and the potential misuse of user data. 

We spoke with the legendary USC Professor Mike Zyda who founded the USC Video Games department and he told us;

 “It is easy to make a statement that TikTok has user data that might be shared with the Chinese Government. To actually prove it and state why that might be of concern is quite another thing. Additionally, the large user audience of TikTok and the massive amount of data collected makes the prospect of going through that data to determine meaningful information about the user a daunting task and a very large computational effort.” 

Once we go down that road, we then will have calls for the blocking of other Chinese apps, such as WeChat, that have a more pervasive Chinese Government monitoring. Perhaps a TransGlobal Datawar is the inevitable outcome if we do.”

Zyda Portrait 2017
Professor Mike Zyda

See our interview with Professor Zyda: The Metaverse w/ USC Computer Games Founding Professor Mike Zyda

A former Microsoft engineer told us on TikTok:

“If we’re banning ‘bad’  addictive things nanny state style let’s do cigarettes too”

TikTok is an excellent platform for creative expression. Users can create short-form videos that showcase their talents, humor, or any other content they wish to share with the world. The platform allows for easy editing and collaboration, making it simple for anyone to create compelling content. This creative freedom has resulted in some of the most viral and innovative content on social media in recent years.

Additionally, TikTok has provided a platform for marginalized communities to find their voices and connect with others who share similar experiences. The platform’s algorithmic recommendation system became praised for its ability to amplify the voices of those who may not have as much visibility on other social media platforms. Whereas YouTube for instance now becomes dominated by the major media companies. TikTok has also provided a platform for small businesses to reach new audiences and grow their customer base.

Despite these positive aspects of TikTok, concerns about data privacy and security cannot be ignored. TikTok became accused of collecting and sharing user data with the Chinese government. In addition, the app has become banned in some countries due to these concerns. However, it’s important to note that data collection and sharing are not unique to TikTok.

In today’s world, data becomes collected and shared in almost every aspect of our lives, from our online shopping habits to our healthcare records. Social media platforms, in particular, known for their data collection practices. Furthermore, many popular platforms have faced criticism for their handling of user data.

Former IBMWatson Security guru Harold Moss told us:

“It’s debatable on a couple levels. Personal opinion: We certainly need to better understand not only those that influence the platform, but also how the data is used and by who. Unfortunately, they are the focal point for the wrong reasons, given that a number of gaming entities are owned by the Chinese government and have a greater potential to influence. In short, my nuanced answer would be we need a national oversight board, and well defined national policy law which would be a far more effective strategy than banning individual organizations.”

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Harold Moss

See our interview with Harold: IBM Watson Security Director Harold Moss

While concerns about data privacy and security are valid, I believe that it’s important to look at the bigger picture. TikTok provides a valuable platform for creative expression and community-building, and its algorithmic recommendation system has the potential to amplify voices that may not have as much visibility on other social media platforms.

In conclusion, TikTok has become an integral part of many people’s lives and has provided a unique and engaging experience for its users. While concerns about data privacy and security are valid, it’s important to recognize that data collection and sharing are pervasive in today’s world. We must continue to hold social media platforms accountable for their data practices, but we should also recognize the value that these platforms provide for creative expression and community-building.

What are the arguments for banning TikTok?