Trump has signed an executive order that would effectively ban TikTok and its parent company in the U.S.
The ban takes effect in 45 days from it being signed unless TikTok is sold by its parent company ByteDance, and Microsoft has reportedly been in talks to purchase TikTok.
Is there any way we can return 2020 and get our money back? Now, it looks like TikTok could go the way of Vine and become history. On August 6, President Trump signed an executive order that would make "any transactions between TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, and U.S. citizens will be outlawed for national security reasons," according to NPR.
This executive order was signed on Thursday and goes into effect in 44 days.
"TikTok automatically captures vast swaths of information from its users, including Internet and other network activity information such as location data and browsing and search histories," the order states. "This data collection threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americansâ€™ personal and proprietary information -- potentially allowing China to track the locations of Federal employees and contractors, build dossiers of personal information for blackmail, and conduct corporate espionage."
The executive order also cites censorship and the spread of misinformation, including "conspiracy theories" about the Coronavirus as reasons behind the ban: "TikTok also reportedly censors content that the Chinese Communist Party deems politically sensitive, such as content concerning protests in Hong Kong and Chinaâ€™s treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities. This mobile application may also be used for disinformation campaigns that benefit the Chinese Communist Party, such as when TikTok videos spread debunked conspiracy theories about the origins of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus."
Related: A timeline of President Trump's comments on the coronavirus
So what does this actually mean? "The order likely will mean the viral video service could no longer receive advertising from American companies and the app could be removed from Apple and Google's app stores," NPR reports. Additionally, "experts say the app may no longer be sent software updates, rendering TikTok unmanageable, and eventually nonfunctional, with time," according to NPR.
But there is hope. The 45 day window gives an American company the opportunity to buy TikTok from ByteDance. Microsoft has confirmed it is one of several other companies in talks to potentially acquire TikTok, according to Market Watch.
In response to the order, TikTok issued a statement, saying they are "shocked" by the order, adding that "it sets a dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets."
TikTok also denied sharing user data with Chinese authorities and censoring content. "We have made clear that TikTok has never shared user data with the Chinese government, nor censored content at its request."
It sounds like TikTok will try to fight the ban as well. "We will pursue all remedies available to us in order to ensure that the rule of law is not discarded and that our company and our users are treated fairly â€“ if not by the Administration, then by the US courts," the company wrote in the statement, adding that they are willing to "pursue a full sale of the US business to an American company."
Even if the ban goes into effect, your favorite creators won't be going anywhere. In a statement to Seventeen, Clubhouse Next cofounder Ahlyssa Marie said, "Iâ€™m honestly excited for what's to come after TikTok. Yes, the app has given me opportunities of a lifetime that led me to creating [Clubhouse Next], but after a while you tend to ask whatâ€™s next?"
Still, the over 100 million American users and influencers will be sad to see TikTok go. TikTok star Tayler Holder posted a TikTok where he talks about how much the app means to him. "I really hope this isnâ€™t true," the caption says. "This app has changed my life forever and helped make the best memories of my lifeðŸ¥ºðŸ’” Bye for now."
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