TikTok’s future uncertain as Oracle deal attempts to avoid ban

Astrid Code, News Editor

“A lot of people were scared and sad. Most people had no idea what was going on […] It was pretty much chaos for a while because everyone kind of lost hope,” says senior Derek Halloran. He is one of the many people affected by the turmoil of a possible TikTok ban that has been on and off for months. 

On August 6, President Trump issued an executive order that would ban Tiktok in the US in 45 days. Over 55 days later, the app hasn’t been banned, but the future of it is still uncertain. Here’s the rundown of events.

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The app has become a regular presence in many students’ lives. For example, Halloran is a TikTok creator and uses the app regularly. “TikTok will most likely have a special place in my heart because I have been able to meet and talk to some really cool people and get to know them,” he says. “I have been able to work with companies and chat with producers and artists and it’s such an experience! It’s a fun platform if you look for the right videos.” 

Junior Mikayla Bordador agrees. “It’s important to me because it’s something I use everyday and very entertaining. I think teens have the benefit of having a place to connect with each other and make entertaining content for each other on TikTok.” 

TikTok has become a place where young people can find a community and a place where they can be themselves, interacting with people who share their same interests or challenges in life. “It’s sort of like a community, and depending on what your for you page is like you may see the same creators and people again and you start to connect with them,” says Bordador. The app has also allowed teens to see different points of view and get educated on many things such as privilege or how to be respectful to people with disabilities. “Tiktok had opened my eyes and has shown what other people go through and what it is like from other perspectives sometimes,” says Halloran. “You get to know more about people.”

When the ban was announced, the safety of those communities was suddenly broken. “My reaction to TikTok potentially getting banned was feeling sad and worried. I didn’t want an app I was so used to and connected to to just get banned,” says Bordador. “Taking [TikTok] down is like taking Instagram or Snapchat for some people,” says Halloran. “It was insane that out of all things going on in the world the President was fixated on that.” 

However, parent Jacque Killmer believes that being critical of the app and its relations with China is extremely important.I thought it was a bold move on the president’s part,” she says on President Trump’s executive order banning TikTok. “However, it has brought an important issue into the spotlight. America needs to decide what its boundaries are with Chinese companies.” The main concern with TikTok is its parent company, ByteDance, and its relations to the Chinese government. “The algorithms that social media services including TikTok use are very good at getting to know people. If those algorithms and the information that they generate are demanded by the Chinese government, a Chinese owned company must comply,” says Killmer. “This could be easily exploited to cause chaos or worse issues such as economic instability.”