U.S. Government Issues Another TikTok Ban
All members of the US House of Representatives staff have been ordered to delete TikTok from their mobile devices.
While Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover has held the headlines in the United States when it comes to social media news, TikTok is back in its rightful place as the most talked about app. That’s because, as first reported by NBC News, the US House of Representatives has asked members of its staff to wipe the popular app from their House-issued mobile phones. The decision was made due to the prior knowledge of questionable information handling by the video-making app’s parent company, ByteDance.
The House’s Chief Administrative Officer, Catherine L Szpindor was the first to come forward with the memo, swiftly putting an end to pre-existing or future downloads of TikTok. In the note, Szpindor wrote that staff members working in the House were “NOT allowed to download” the app from this moment forward and that if it was already on their mobile device, they were expected to delete it. Given the aforementioned security threat, the decision made by the House is not an unexpected one.
While it may be a great place to learn a new recipe, dish about your favorite reality series, or learn the latest dance trend, TikTok has landed itself in hot water over the last few years due to concerns of espionage. Several members of the U.S. government have already attempted to ban the app with their fear stemming from the belief that the Chinese government is using it as a way to collect intel and spy on users. Many bodies of government in the U.S. have already made moves to cut the app from staff’s devices with 19 states and counting putting blocks on the social media favorite.
In 2022 alone, TikTok has faced a slew of backlash for content that’s allegedly led to the deaths of users. The app features a lot of “trends” such as dances and challenges, but sometimes these trends can prove deadly. Such was the case for two young girls who took part in the app’s “Blackout Challenge,” which tragically resulted in their deaths by asphyxiation.
And, while data collection on apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter isn’t a shocking revelation, the government considers TikTok’s information gathering to be troublesome. Accusations have already been made with both confirmations and denials coming from the app’s staff that this type of intel exists. With lawmakers attempting to pass bills that would see the app wiped from stores as a whole, it makes total sense as to why they’d be doing their best to start at the top via government and work their way down to the general population.
Outside of TikTok, the US has been dealing with the ongoing and oddly entertaining Twitter takeover at the hands of Tesla CEO, Elon Musk. Since purchasing the company and promising to reinstate “free speech,” the entrepreneur has faced an avalanche of pushback from regular users and celebrities alike. Blocking and suspending anyone standing in his way, the masses voted for Musk to step down, something he says that he’s happy to do.
While Elon Musk’s Twitter beef is comical, the paranoia surrounding TikTok is anything but. With the government taking steps to put an end to employee usage, the app’s shelf life in the United States is up in the air.