Is China really going to hurt us through an app?
The TikTok ban across Texas universities is not going to save private information unless the government decides to ban all social media apps.
Many public Texas Universities, such as UTD, UNT and UT have banned the use of TikTok on their own Wi-Fi.
This is in response to Abbott’s on TikTok on all government-issued technology, a plan released by the state government to all state agencies on Jan. 15.
However, this ban is not going to change the way that students use TikTok. Students on these campuses will simply switch over to their data or use their dorm Wi-Fi, which is private.
So, this begs the question of why is the app being banned?
U.S. authorities deemed TikTok a national security threat. They are afraid that American users’ private information is being shared with the Chinese-based parent app, ByteDance, according to an article in Time magazine last month.
There is no doubt that TikTok is taking users’ information, however, every social media app has done the same thing. Companies like Meta, which owns Instagram and Facebook, are taking the same amount of information, The New York Times reported in 2018.
The only difference between the apps is that TikTok is owned by a Chinese company. Although, the company stated in a letter to Texas officials last summer that 100% of all U.S. user’s data is in the Oracle Cloud environment.
If the government feared citizens’ information was being leaked through social media apps, shouldn’t it ban all of them? Why stop at TikTok?
It is simply because the app is owned by a foreign company.
Recently, the U.S. has seen an increase in fear of the Chinese Communist Party due to potential actions their government may take against us.
The percentage of U.S. citizens who have “cold feelings” towards China has gone up by 46% in just a couple of years, Pew Research reported in 2021. Due to factors such as COVID-19 and Donald Trump’s rampant attack on the country, there is a consensus that we should fear China.
There are real consequences to this, NBC News reported in 2022 that anti-Asian hate crime has increased by 339%. This overall attitude towards Asian populations has certainly impacted the decision to ban TikTok.
The main question to be asked about the Tik Tok ban on public universities is how valuable is the information about university students to China?
This ban is restricting all university programs from promoting themselves and spreading useful information to their student body. All these actions are important to U.S. students, but this kind of content does not seem essential to the Chinese Communist Party.
If the government wants to prevent all private information from being leaked, it should take more action against all social media apps. It is not reasonable that Facebook was allowed to interfere with the U.S. elections and was not banned as well as the New York Times reported in 2018.
There are more important things that the Texas government should be worried about than TikTok. This ban is simply a stunt, to make Texan citizens scared of what is outside of their reach.
We should all be more concerned about what is happening in our state currently, than what is happening outside.