Are you a TikTok user? Do you have a temporary ban on TikTok?
Will there be a temporary ban on TikTok in the U.S.?
If you are here for the former, see this Mostly Blogging article about how to unsuspend your TikTok account.
This post answers the question, “Will TikTok be banned in the U.S.?”
Why would there be a temporary ban on TikTok in the U.S. or anywhere in 2023?
This article reviews the events that led to TikTok, one of the most successful social media sites of all time, being banned by federal agencies in the U.S.
Could a temporary ban on TikTok among all U.S. account holders be near?
I do not have a crystal ball in order to answer that question.
However, my answer to the question, “Will there be a temporary ban on TikTok in the U.S.?” is based on eight years of research on social media and closely monitoring TikTok in the news.
By reading this post, you will get four reasons supported by evidence that a temporary ban on TikTok is possible in the United States. Let’s get started. We have much to unpack.
UPDATE: APRIL 2023
Benefits of TikTok
TikTok has over one billion users. How many of those are Americans? How many people would be affected by a temporary ban on TikTok?
In March of 2023, TikTok reached 150 million active users in the U.S.A.
This staggering statistic should not be a surprise. There are many advantages of using TikTok.
First, you can’t beat the entertainment value of TikTok:
Users spend hours endlessly scrolling and watching videos filled with humor, creativity, music, and knowledge. Since most TikTok videos are 15 seconds long, watching TikTok videos is a perfect outlet for busy people. You can even use free tools like SSSTikTok to watch TikTok videos offline.
How TikTok is used to make money:
Marketers use TikTok in droves. The Duo Lingo language learning app started the TikTok marketing trend. In fact, marketers now write original campaign jingles only to be heard on TikTok.
The TikTok audio is unsurpassed and helps make TikTok the lively social media site millions know and love.
Artists such as musicians earn fame on the site thanks to TikTok’s music playlists. For instance, TikTok has an Emerging Artist playlist.
Taylor Fagins wrote and played an original song on TikTok and went on to American Idol fame.
Next, stars are made on the site. In fact, Charli D’amelio went from dancing on TikTok to dancing on television in a recent holiday special.
Disadvantages of TikTok
So, what’s the problem?
What is the threat to the United States that TikTok poses?
TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a company located in Beijing, China.
Currently, in 2023, tensions between the U.S. and China are running high. In fact, the U.S. military recently shot down a Chinese balloon that flew into U.S. airspace. Additionally, the leader of China, Xi Jinping, met with Russia’s leader, US adversary, Vladimir Putin.
The U.S. government worries that ByteDance will give its data on individual U.S. citizens collected through TikTok to the Chinese government which currently has strained relations with the U.S.
For instance, through the browser’s IP address, ByteDance could even discover and divulge the locations of targeted U.S. citizens.
Also, concerns revolve around the possibility that the Chinese government could order TikTok to control which videos Americans see.
Current Ban on TikTok
So, is there a ban?
Yes, and it’s not a temporary ban on TikTok.
U.S. government workers are banned from having TikTok apps.
When you make an account, you are asked for certain personal information. The U.S. government fears the personal information of US citizens will be used against them.
Currently, at the time of this writing, not all citizens are banned from using TikTok.
Do I think there will be a permanent ban on all U.S. citizens? No, but there might be a temporary ban on TikTok.
Temporary Ban on TikTok
Here are reasons why I predict a temporary ban on TikTok in the U.S.:
First, the public outcry would be huge.
Content creators spent years discovering how to grow on TikTok and built a loyal following.
For those who monetize TikTok, their livelihood is at stake.
The Wall Street Journal has gone as far as to predict that Americans would claim they are in violation of their right to free speech if TikTok were to be permanently banned.
Next, precedents are set.
Precedent Example #1
In 2019, Facebook experienced a data breach. There was a great hue and cry about data not being secure on Facebook. This is a comparable situation to the current fears about TikTok data concerns.
Facebook users flocked to MeWe in droves. MeWe rebranded as a place your data could be safe. In this parallel situation over data concerns, current worries about TikTok are making TikTok users flock to Facebook.
The outcome: Today, Facebook’s user base is growing.
Precedent Example #2
For two years, Donald Trump was banned on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. In like manner, the U.S. could place a temporary ban on TikTok.
The outcome: Today, Donald Trump is back on Twitter, Facebook, and Twitter. His social media bans were temporary. Why couldn’t a TikTok ban also be temporary?
Precedent Example #3
When Vice President Dan Quayle was up for re-election, he attacked a popular TV show, Murphy Brown, as being immoral and anti-family.
The outcome: Viewers of Murphy Brown didn’t care and continued watching the show like before the concerns about U.S. morality and the sanctity of the family were made.
Precedent Example #4
In 2020, the former U.S. President, Donald Trump, wanted TikTok banned unless it was purchased by an American company.
Although Microsoft expressed interest in acquiring TikTok, nothing came from Trump’s demands. TikTok appealed the sale to a higher authority claiming the sale denied the company due process.
In addition, there is a push to avoid a permanent ban on TikTok.
Shou Zi Chew, the TikTok CEO and former Goldman banker, is trying to assure citizens of the United States and the Committee on Foreign Investments (CFIUS) in the U.S. Government that using the TikTok app is perfectly safe.
For instance, he maintains that Oracle, a U.S.-based parent company, controls ByteDance which would negate security threats ByteDance could pose.
In addition, during the March 23, 2023 hearings, he repeatedly gave his assurance that TikTok is committed to not using TikTok to spy on Americans or manipulate the videos that Americans view.
A U.S. firm could buy TikTok.
Finally, even if the U.S. bans the wildly popular social media app, there will be a temporary ban on TikTok in the US just until a U.S.-based company buys the app.
Before being owned by ByteDance, TikTok was formerly owned by Musically, so it wouldn’t be the first time TikTok’s owners changed hands.
It is within the U.S. President’s right to insist on a forced sale.
One important consideration:
U.S. President, Joe Biden, is facing an election year next year in 2025. He might choose to postpone the temporary ban on TikTok until after the election year.
Precedent Example #5
In 2020, the social media app Grindr was forced to sell in order to keep the company in American hands instead of the hands of its original Chinese owners.
Wrapping Up: Will There Be a Temporary Ban on TikTok in the U.S.?
In closing, this post answered the question, “Will TikTok be banned in the U.S.?”
Is a temporary ban on TikTok a solution? Why does the remedy have to be all or nothing? Precedents are patterns that are set. These patterns indicate that only a temporary ban on TikTok will occur.
Will there be a temporary ban on TikTok in the U.S. in 2023?
I don’t know. I don’t have a crystal ball.
Could there be a temporary ban on TikTok in the U.S.? Definitely!
Please share so social media marketers and TikTok users understand why I predict a temporary TikTok ban in the U.S.
I look forward to your views in the comments section. Do you believe there will be a temporary TikTok ban in the US?
Janice Wald is the founder of MostlyBlogging.com and co-founder of the Mostly Blogging Academy. She is an ebook author, blogger, blogging coach, blogging judge, freelance writer, and speaker. She won the Best Internet Marketer Award and the Best Blogger Award at the 2021 Infinity Blog Awards. Wald was also nominated as 2019 Best Internet Marketer by the Infinity Blog Awards and in 2017 as the Most Informative Blogger by the London Bloggers Bash. She’s been featured on Small Business Trends, the Huffington Post, and Lifehack.