Opinion: TikTok users should be wary of the information they share


Photo by Solen Feyissa via Wikimedia Commons

Long-time Tik Tok diets create unrealistic and harmful standards for younger audiences.

Allison Huschak, Multimedia Editor

Now that federal employees are no longer permitted to have TikTok on government electronic devices, American citizens are beginning to question whether or not they should continue to use the app. 

TikTok is a popular and addictive social media app owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. It is used around the world and was released in the United States in 2017. 

The U.S. government began a security investigation into the app in 2019, when it was suspected to be gathering personal information from its users. As reported by the Associated Press, President Biden has since signed a legislation that forbids TikTok to be on federal electronic devices. 

Chinese law allows its government to obtain user information from social media companies without letting service providers or users know.

So far, the United States, Canada, Belgium, and the European Commission have banned TikTok from being on government employees’ work devices, since those devices may contain classified information. Some states in the U.S. have also banned TikTok, including Mississippi, North Carolina, and Louisiana. 

There is no definite evidence that the Chinese government is using this information, but fears have arisen in many American adults. 

TikTok is one of the most popular social media apps for younger generations, but teenagers are not showing much care that their information may be taken and used against the United States. Many teens get news and similar information from the app, but TikTok is known to censor information that the Chinese government feels threatens its communist ideals. 

Unknowing children as young as 13 are using this app and sharing information that should be kept private, like locations and ages. Even if outside parties are not using this information, children are posting videos and sharing this knowledge with everyone on the app. 

While there is no solid evidence that China is doing this, it is very possible. China is not allied with the United States, so the fact that its government is gathering information as well as controlling what users see can be worrisome. 

The addictiveness of TikTok will make it difficult for users to stop scrolling. But keeping the app downloaded is detrimental to American safety as tensions rise throughout the world. Americans should consider deleting the app to ensure safety for themselves and the rest of America.