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THE SOCIAL MEDIA landscape is one of constant tumult and progress. Fifteen years ago, the biggest platforms were MySpace and Friendster, and everyone was weirdly obsessed with publicly ranking their best friends. That concept might sound astounding to Gen-Z, but it was once crucial to how social media operated. The point is, social media platforms, trends, and practices frequently change, but up until recently, it’s rare they would do so due to government intervention.

Enter: the United States Government. If there is one enemy of TikTok’s highly curated short-form content and seemingly telepathic for you page, it’s the White House (this is despite President Biden having an official TikTok account, @bidenhq). A few months ago, videos of TikTok CEO Shou Chew being grilled by a bunch of clueless congressmen who seemed to be struggling to grasp the concept of the internet went viral – you might recall laughing at just how out of touch those questioning Chew were. Jokes aside, that hearing has culminated in Biden signing legislation that will eventually ban TikTok unless change is made.

So, is this the beginning of TikTok’s inevitable downfall? Here’s everything you need to know.

Will the USA actually ban TikTok?

Maybe, but not yet. The legislation signed by Biden today gives TikTok’s parent company ByteDance nine months to sell the platform. The deadline for the sale is January 19th, 2025 – one day before Biden’s presidential term ends, unless he’s re-elected – but can be pushed back by three months if it is deemed ByteDance is progressing towards a sale.

According to TikTok, 170 million Americans use the app. If it were to be banned, TikTok wouldn’t just disappear from phones, but it wouldn’t be available on app stores. It won’t be illegal to use TikTok, but Americans won’t be able to download it, and the app won’t be able to receive updates, meaning it would eventually become outdated and unusable.

Whether or not the ban goes through will largely rely on ByteDance’s willingness to sell the platform. But CEO Shou Chew seems confident that it won’t come to that. “Rest assured, we aren’t going anywhere,” Chew said in a video shared to TikTok. “The facts and the constitution are on our side and we expect to prevail again.”


Response to TikTok Ban Bill

♬ original sound – TikTok

Why is the USA banning TikTok?

Before you get too deep into that baseless chatter about TikTok altering our brain chemistry and shortening the attention spans of younger generations, the US government is less concerned with TikTok’s impact on health as it is with preventing a potential security threat. Politicians have expressed concerns that Chinese-owned ByteDance could be using TikTok to harvest the data of users and deliver it to the Chinese government.

It’s a sad reality, but it’s the world we live in. Despite TikTok denying that they share any user data, American lawmakers aren’t convinced.

Will Australia ban TikTok?

Geopolitically, Australia frequently follows the United States’ lead, but there currently aren’t any plans to implement a similar ban on TikTok. Australia already bans the app on government-issued devices, but that’s about as far as the government is willing to go, according to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. “We haven’t got advice at this stage to do that,” Albanese said last month. “You’ve always got to have national security concerns front and centre, but you also need to acknowledge that for a whole lot of people, this provides a way of them communicating.”

Your daily scrolling binge is safe… for now.

How will TikTok change if it’s banned in the USA?

TikTok doesn’t completely rely on the US market, but it’s safe to say that it will struggle to maintain relevancy if it loses such a large portion of its userbase. If the USA does go through with its TikTok ban, expect users to migrate to another platform. The ensuing dearth of new content from major creators, influencers and celebrities will leave TikTok looking fairly dry, potentially causing remaining users to also look elsewhere for their content.

In essence, whether or not it’s banned in the US, TikTok will remain, but it will be drastically changed. Sure, there are plenty of popular TikTok creators outside of the US, but with a large share of its userbase wiped out overnight, rival platforms will start looking far more appealing and will be all too willing to absorb TikTok’s traffic.


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