TikTok Censorship – Will TikTok Possibly Be Banned In The U.S
The future of TikTok in the United States and the European Union is uncertain (EU). The app’s popularity and aggressive lobbying by the parent company, ByteDance, have prevented attempts by American lawmakers to outright outlaw the use of TikTok from succeeding on several occasions.
The app is being criticized because of the possibility that the Chinese government could gather data on American users and potentially influence them using the “For You” feature. There is concern that the “For You” function’s algorithm, which is still unknown, could be used to influence user behaviour and possibly spread political messages, possibly meddling in American elections.
The most likely outcome is that ByteDance will sell a minority (20%) of its ownership to American companies, with Oracle and Walmart being the most likely candidates. A similar proposal was made in 2020, in which Walmart and Oracle would each purchase 10% of TikTok Global, a newly formed company.
Since TikTok Global would have a US base, US laws and regulations would apply to it. According to popular opinion, such a deal would protect against data mining and Chinese government influence. The Biden administration is still reviewing the agreement as of 2021.
TikTok must fully comply with the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA), which aims to protect users’ private data zealously and is also under review by the EU. The EU has set the deadline for TikTok to comply with the DSA guidelines for September 1, 2023.
TikTok may be banned in the EU if the EU’s deadline is not met, according to EU Commissioner Thierry Breton. TikTok will be subject to audits of its efforts to stop potential data manipulation and filter content to protect the lives and safety of internet users. The EU has some of the strictest privacy laws. Failure to pass an audit could result in fines of up to 6% of the company’s annual revenue and/or an outright ban in the EU.
In conclusion, TikTok has become a target for digital privacy monitors in many jurisdictions, not the least of which are the U.S. and the EU due to its popularity.