The Latest 'Red Scare'
Legislators have called for a TikTok ban, citing concerns about potential national security risks associated with the app's Chinese ownership. This effort has xenophobic undertones and the potential to impede free speech.
TikTok has had the world dancing for the past several years, but time may be running out for the video-sharing app. The app originally took form in 2014 under the name of Musical.ly. In 2017, it was purchased by ByteDance, a Chinese company. In August of 2018, Musical.ly merged with TikTok, and became the social media giant we know today.
Now, TikTok has more than 2 billion downloads worldwide, and over 150 million users in just the United States. TikTok’s popularity stems from its “For You Page,” which offers an endless variety of videos based on each user’s personalized algorithm. Videos discuss anything from presidential speeches to the most recent New York Fashion Week shows. It’s become a cultural center, in which teens and adults alike facilitate discourse around news and political opinions. The 2020 Black Lives Matter movement was covered by 15-second videos filmed by protesters and their allies. Cries against the Willow Project were shared all around TikTok, and resulted in a “Stop the Willow Project” petition signed by 5 milli