TikTok Bans – Top 3 Pros and Cons

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TikTok is a “social media platform designed for creating, editing, and sharing short videos between 15 seconds and three minutes in length. TikTok provides songs and sounds as well as filters and special effects that users can add to their videos.” The app, launched in 2018, is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. For more on the history of TikTok, visit Encyclopaedia Britannica. [1]

As noted by Britannica, “Regulators in the United States and the European Union have expressed privacy, safety, and security concerns about TikTok.” Specifically, there are concerns that the company could share sensitive user data with the Chinese Communist Party (the CCP), track the videos watched by Americans, and even manipulate the information seen by Americans to sway public opinion about China and influence American elections, serving, in a sense, as a propaganda and spying arm of the CCP. Some observers see this mission as part of China’s “Digital Silk Road” initiative, launched in 2015. These concerns have led to debates about whether to ban the app on government devices and, further, for everyday citizens. [1] [2]

On Aug. 6, 2020, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13942 that banned transactions between ByteDance (TikTok’s parent company) and U.S. citizens, effectively banning the app altogether. However, on Nov. 12, 2020, citing a court case brought by three TikTok stars–Douglas Marland (comedian), Cosette Rinab (fashion influencer), and Alex Chambers (musician)–the U.S. Department of Commerce stated it would not enforce the ban. President Joe Biden then went one step further, signing Executive Order 14034 on June 11, 2021, that overturned Trump’s Executive Order 13942 (as well as two other Trump executive orders that focused on Chinese social media companies) and ordered a review of foreign-owned apps by government agencies. [3] [4] [5]

Further restrictions on TikTok, however, followed in 2022. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed on Dec. 29, 2022, included the No TikTok on Government Devices Act championed by Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO). The act requires TikTok to be removed from all U.S. government devices and bans government employees from downloading the app on government devices as of Mar. 29, 2023 (30 days after the memorandum), instructing the heads of executive departments and agencies to enact the change). Other efforts to ban the app have been considered in Congress, including the DATA Act and the RESTRICT Act, both introduced in 2023, but no legislation had passed as of May 24, 2023. [6]

Both the Trump and Biden administrations have tried to force ByteDance to sell TikTok, or to sell TikTok’s American operations. Thus far, ByteDance has refused to do so, though TikTok has reportedly taken steps to secure American data on servers in the United States. [7]

Concerns about the app intensified in Mar. 2023 when reports that the FBI and Department of Justice were investigating TikTok for allegations that its employees had inappropriately accessed American journalists’ data. Many observers worried that the app was spying on journalists for the Chinese government. [8]

Following the federal lead, a majority of states have also banned TikTok on government devices and networks. Only 17 states and D.C. did not have a statewide ban of TikTok on government devices as of May 24, 2023, and four of those 17 have partial bans. For a list of these states, click here.

Montana went a step further. On Apr. 14, 2023, legislators in that state passed SB0419 that would ban TikTok in Montana and prohibit online stores from offering the social media app as of Jan. 1, 2024. The ban includes a $10,000 penalty per violation per day for TikTok and the app store providing the platform. However, individual users would not be subject to the fine. If TikTok were sold to “a company that is not incorporated in an adversarial nation,” the ban would be lifted. Montana governor Greg Gianforte sent the bill back to the legislature with amendments that would expand the ban to all social media apps that provide “certain data to foreign adversaries” and remove penalties for app stores. Gianforte signed the amended bill into law on May 17, 2023, banning TikTok in Montana. The next day, five TikTok content creators filed a lawsuit and TikTok filed a lawsuit against the state on May 22, 2023, both lawsuits claim the law violates the First Amendment. [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]

On Nov. 30, 2023, a federal judge blocked Montana’s TikTok ban from going into effect. Judge Donald W. Molloy stated, “the current record leaves little doubt that Montana’s Legislature and attorney general were more interested in targeting China’s ostensible role in TikTok than with protecting Montana consumers [and this] foray into foreign affairs interprets the United States’ current foreign policy interests and intrudes on them.” While the ruling is preliminary, experts doubted the judge would reinstate the state-wide TikTok ban. [54]

To the dismay of many students, some college campuses have banned TikTok from college WiFi networks or on college-owned devices (many colleges are state-run, meaning college WiFi networks and devices are state-owned). Among those with bans are Auburn University, Arkansas State University, Boise State University, the University System of Georgia, Idaho State University, University of Idaho, University of Iowa, Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa, Montana University System, Oklahoma State University, The University of Central Oklahoma, University of Oklahoma, South Dakota state universities, University of Texas at Austin, University of Houston System, and Texas A&M University. [15]

Beyond U.S. borders, TIkTok was banned on NATO-issued devices on Mar. 31, 2023. Australia, Canada, Denmark, the European Union, France, Latvia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Taiwan have banned TikTok from government devices. Bangladesh, Belgium, Indonesia, and Pakistan have had temporary bans on the social media app, while Afghanistan (2022) and India (2020) have banned the platform altogether. China has retaliated by prohibiting the U.S. version of TikTok and all other American social media apps. [16] [17] [18] [19]

50% of Americans support a TikTok ban by the U.S. government, with 22% opposed and 28% unsure. However, only 19% of TikTok users themselves support a ban, with 56% opposed and 24% unsure, according to a Mar. 31, 2023, poll by the Pew Research Center. [20]

The question remains, with 150 million monthly American active users, should the U.S. government or state governments enact TikTok bans? [21]

Should TikTok Be Banned?

Pro 1

TikTok poses a threat to U.S. national security, serving as a propaganda arm of the Chinese Communist Party.

While TikTok may seem filled with innocuous cat videos and dance challenges, Chinese law requires that Chinese companies share information it gathers with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), including users’ private data. “The CCP’s laws require Chinese companies like ByteDance to spy on their behalf. That means any Chinese company must grant the CCP access and manipulation capabilities as a design feature,” explains U.S. Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). [2] [22]

Should Chinese government officials gain access to TikTok user data, intelligence opportunities could be uncovered to recruit a spy, blackmail a target, or otherwise influence American culture to its benefit. The issue is not that the site collects personal data—many online sites do that—but that the country widely perceived as a competitor if not an enemy of the United States can see the information if not also manipulate content for nefarious, political purposes. [23]

Further, the Chinese government could manipulate TikTok’s algorithm or other operations to expose Americans to communist propaganda, which could be used to influence elections, domestic and international policy, and other political processes. [23]

“The US government cannot ignore TikTok as a potential national security threat, even if efforts to crack down on the company alienate a generation of future voters…. Republicans [and] Democrats agreed this is a threat…. We have to deal with it before it’s too late,” implores U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI). [24]

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Pro 2

TikTok is rife with dangerous misinformation that the government can and should rightly ban.

“TikTok is a misinformation minefield,” says journalist Queenie Wong. [25]

19.4% of TikTok videos contain misinformation according to a Sep. 2022 report. From “tutorials” to make dangerous drugs at home to extremist false political claims to misleading clips of speeches to “deep fake” videos, TikTok not only contains but promotes dangerous, inaccurate, and inappropriate information. [26]

While misinformation is a problem in and of itself, the concern is magnified significantly because, according to Google data, TikTok is being used as the primary search engine of Gen Z, so much so that the Wall Street Journal called the app the “new Google.” [26]

Researchers from the University of Regina note that TikTok is an especially difficult case because the platform only hosts videos: “misinformation videos may pose a uniquely difficult target for debunking attempts because they often appear highly immersive, authentic, and relatable, which might cause people to process videos more superficially and believe them more readily.” [27]

“We shouldn’t be playing Whac-a-Mole with every individual piece of content, because it feels like we’re playing a losing game and there are much bigger battles to fight. But this stuff is really dangerous, even though it feels like a fact checker or reverse image search would debunk it in two seconds. It’s fundamentally feeding into this constant drip, drip, drip of stuff that’s reinforcing your worldview,” says Claire Wardle, Co-director of the Information Futures Lab at Brown University. Banning TikTok is much more effective than the “Whac-a-Mole” approach to misinformation. [28]

Further, TikTok is unique in promoting challenges that are dangerous and deadly. The “Tide Pod challenge” put TikTok on the radar in 2018 with an increase in calls to poison control centers, The dangerous and deadly challenge asked users to bite down on a laundry detergent packet, which lead to the consumption of toxic chemicals that seriously burn the mouth, esophagus and respiratory tract. [29] [30]

Despite at least six deaths from the laundry pod challenge, TikTok persists in promoting dangerous challenges from daring people to shave down their teeth with nail files to the “Coronavirus challenge” in which users licked public toilet seats and subway hand grips to see who could contract COVID-19 first (not to mention any number of other communicable diseases). [29] [30] [31]

The “Borg challenge” called for mixing alcohol with caffeine, electrolytes, and water and led to the hospitalization of many college students. The “Blackout challenge” dared kids to choke each other to the point of unconsciousness and resulted in at least 20 deaths. The “Beezin’ challenge” asked young people to put menthol or peppermint lip balm on their eyelids under the mistaken impression that doing so would increase their alcohol or drug “buzz;” though the act could also cause blindness. [32]

No matter how many fact-checking and safety notices companies release to consumers, click-hungry and impressionable people will be misinformed and endanger themselves on TikTok. Taking away the platform is the only answer, and the American government has the authority to ban platforms linked to foreign adversaries. [33]

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Pro 3

A “tough on China” approach is needed to safeguard the United States and its citizens.

China is a growing national security concern for the United States. The FBI cautions that the “counterintelligence and economic espionage efforts emanating from the government of China and the Chinese Communist Party are a grave threat to the economic well-being and democratic values of the United States.” [34]

Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), who sponsored the Bipartisan RESTRICT Act, explains, “Congress has recognized that the Chinese Communist Party is not our dear friend. Any question about what China intends to do and what authoritarians intend to do, is able to be seen by their treatment of the people in Hong Kong, the Uyghur people in China. You can see what authoritarians want to do [by] watching what Russia is doing in Ukraine. We have to recognize that we face geopolitical adversaries that are serious and threaten our security, our prosperity, and even the peace and freedom that we enjoy.” [35]

“One thing that is a lot worse than having our government infringe on our privacy is having the Chinese Communist Party infringe on our privacy and be able to track us and follow us. Whether it is with social media or other technologies—communication technologies or the hardware that they devise over the coming years—we have to make sure we have the resources in place and the authorities in place to stop those things before they endanger us,” concludes Romney. [35]

While the threat may seem abstract to those who just want to participate in the #booktok or #musictok communities, China has been amping up espionage activities. A Chinese spy balloon operated over the United States from Jan. 28 to Feb. 4, 2023, collecting “intelligence from several sensitive American military sites” including electronic signals from weapons systems and communications from those on the military sites. And two New York residents were arrested for operating an “illegal overseas police station… for a provincial branch of the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC)” in Apr. 2023. [36] [37]

TikTok is but one crucial piece to a tough stance on China.

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Con 1

TikTok is no more a threat than American-owned social media sites that collect and sell user data.

The Washington Post and Pellaeon Lin, researcher at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, both examined TikTok independently and came to the conclusion that TikTok “does not appear to collect any more data than your typical mainstream social network.” In fact, Facebook and Google both collect more personal data from users than TikTok. [23] [38]

As Lin argues, “Governments around the world are ignoring their duty to protect citizens’ private information, allowing big tech companies to exploit user information for gain. Governments should try to better protect user information, instead of focusing on one particular app without good evidence…. What I would call for is more evidence-based policy.” [23]

Further, data security issues are endemic to the industry: “At Twitter, internal controls were so lax that an ex-employee was convicted of using his access to spy on Saudi dissidents, and a whistleblower said that the company had hired an employee in India who had used his access to spy on Indian dissidents.” [52]

Rather than make TikTok a scapegoat for the social media industry, the U.S. government should better regulate the industry as a whole. [52]

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Con 2

TikTok has no more dangerous information than other social media sites, and attempts to ban it are unconstitutional.

“For the average user, TikTok appears no more risky than Facebook. That’s not entirely a compliment,” explains technology columnist Geoffre Fowler. [38]

“No government, as far as we know, has ever told Americans what they can or can’t download from an app store or access on the web,” TikTok states in a response to Montana’s ban. [39]

Banning TikTok would violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. As activist Evan Greer explains, “The US government can’t ban you from posting or watching TikTok videos any more than they can stop you from reading a foreign newspaper like the Times of India or writing an opinion piece for The Guardian.” [40]

“Do we really want to emulate Chinese speech bans? We don’t ban things that are unpopular in this country,” states Senator Rand Paul (R-KY). [22]

Further, banning TikTok amounts to the government criminalizing specific businesses without evidence of wrongdoing. Not only would TikTok itself suffer, but the many businesses that use the platform could also be decimated. TikTok estimates “nearly 5 million businesses seeking expansion and success, including countless small businesses,” use the app. Many small businesses rely solely on TikTok for promotion and sales. [9] [41] [42]

The government shouldn’t be allowed to remove a legitimate revenue stream from TikTok influencers, whether the additional income is a small boost (small accounts report between $9 to $38 a day) or a large brand deal like that of Jon Seaton, football player for Elon University, who earned $250,000 through TikTok deals with Meta and Dr. Pepper. [43] [44]

The bottom line: banning speech and legal jobs is discriminatory, un-democratic, un-American, and unconstitutional.

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Con 3

Singling out China and TikTok for recriminations is xenophobic and rank political theater.

Xenophobia is the “fear and contempt of strangers or foreigners or of anything designated as foreign, or a conviction that certain foreign individuals and cultures represent a threat to the authentic identity of one’s own nation-state and cannot integrate into the local society peacefully.” [45]

In other words, TikTok bans are being considered solely because the U.S. and state governments fear China.

Herb Lin, senior researcher at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, explains, “Nobody would be paying this kind of attention if it were British. It’s because it’s Chinese.” [53]

“This is xenophobic. And it’s part of another Red Scare,” explains U.S. Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY). Far more dangerous, he says, was the 2016 Russian disinformation campaign, the amplification of toxic rhetoric preceding the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar, and the organization of Jan. 6, 2021 insurrectionists on Facebook—all were more dangerous than TikTok and its Chinese owner. [46]

Plus, banning TikTok would give preference to American companies who commit the same data collection sins. Journalist Kara Swisher notes the bans will help other social media sites, primarily Facebook. [47]

“Twitter,” she explains, “is no Nirvana garden party, it’s a very toxic place – and so this is a bigger issue that they [the U.S. government] should be dealing with, but in this case, they’re going to aim at TikTok because of the Chinese government.” [47]

“I’m not at all saying TikTok is innocent, but focusing specifically on one app from one country is not going to solve whatever problem you think you’re solving. It truly misses the point. Do we really think that Facebook or Google are not capable of being influenced by the Chinese government? They know a market when they see one. I think the pressure that’s building is basically a race to be seen as tough on China,” concludes David Kahn Gillmor of the ACLU. [48]

The chance of an everyday person being specifically targeted by the Chinese government is low. “If you’re not a defense contractor or you’re not someone who’s likely to be of specific interest to the Chinese government…then I would say your risk is much higher from Facebook and Instagram, all those things where those companies are doing the best to hire people to figure out how to make you more addicted to their product,” says Justin Cappos, engineering professor at New York University. [53]

“I cannot stress this enough — the national security concerns are purely hypothetical. And rather hysterical,” argues CNN Senior Editor Allison Morrow. [49]

Journalist Karl Bode calls the ban rhetoric “the great TikTok moral panic of 2023” and notes the uproar over TikTok is simply a purposeful distraction from the lack of larger policy solutions for the industry at large. [50]

In the end, what we have here is “a big dumb performance in which we pretend that banning a single app actually does anything of use. After all, the Chinese, Russian, and U.S. governments can all just buy data from the poorly regulated data broker market. They don’t need TikTok for surveillance and propaganda; they have plenty of data brokers and U.S. tech giants for that,” Bode continues. [50]

“Just that myopically fixating on the ban of one app — but doing nothing about the shitty policy environment that created the problem — is more political performance than meaningful solution. A performance that will annoy young voters, make it tougher on researchers and educators, uproot established community, face numerous First Amendment challenges, and not actually fix the core issues,” explains Bode. [50]

Calls to ban TikTok gives politicians the opportunity to appear to be “tough on China” without pinpointing or addressing actual threats. [51]

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State Bans on TikTok

DateBan DocumentIssuant
AlabamaDec. 12, 2022Memo: Protecting Alabama from Chinese Infiltration by Prohibiting the Use of TikTok on State IT InfrastructureGovernor Kay Ivey
AlaskaJan. 6, 2023Memo: Prohibiting the Use of TikTok on State Electronic DevicesGovernor Mike Dunleavy
ArizonaApr. 4, 2022Executive Order 2023-10Governor Katie Hobbs
ArkansasJan. 10, 2023Executive Order to Protect State Information and Communications Technology from the Influence of the Adversarial Foreign GovernmentsGovernor Sarah Huckabee Sanders
California*no restrictions as of May 24, 2023
Colorado*no restrictions as of May 24, 2023
Connecticut*no restrictions as of May 24, 2023
DelawareFeb. 2023DigiKnow newsletterCIO Jason Clarke
District of Columbia*no restrictions as of May 24, 2023
Florida*no statewide ban though the Department of Financial Services has banned Tiktok
GeorgiaDec. 15, 2022Memo: Prohibiting the Use of TikTok and Other Harmful Programs on State DevicesGovernor Brian Kemp
Hawaii*no restrictions as of May 24, 2023
IdahoDec. 14, 2022Executive Order: Banning TikTok on State DevicesGovernor Brad Little
Illinois*no restrictions as of May 24, 2023
IndianaDec. 7, 2022Statement to mediaIndiana Office of Technology
IowaDec. 13, 2022Press releaseGovernor Kim Reynolds
KansasDec. 28, 2022Executive Order: Prohibiting the Use of TikTok on State-Owned Devices and NetworksGovernor Laura Kelly
KentuckyJan. 2022State Employee HandbookGovernor Andy Beshear
Louisiana*no statewide ban though various departments have banned TikTok
MaineJan. 19, 2023Maine ITMaine Information Technology
MarylandDec. 6, 2022Emergency Directive 2022-12-001: Remove Prohibited Products and Platforms
(no longer online)
Office of Security Management, headed by Chief Information Security Officer Chip Stewart
Massachusetts*no restrictions as of May 24, 2023
MichiganMar. 1, 2023Without public announcement
Minnesota*no restrictions as of May 24, 2023
MississippiJan. 11, 2023Memo: Governor Reeves Directs Mississippi Departments and Agencies to Ban TikTok from Government DevicesGovernor Tate Reeves
Missouri*no restrictions as of May 24, 2023
MontanaDec. 16, 2022Memo: Prohibiting the Use of TikTok on State IT Infrastructure Governor Greg Gianforte
NebraskaAug. 12, 2020Press Release (no longer online) Governor Pete Ricketts
NevadaMar. 6, 2023New State Security Standard: System, Application, and Service BlacklistingState Information Security Committee (SISC)
New HampshireDec. 14, 2022Executive Order: An Order Prohibiting Use of Certain Foreign Technologies Governor Chris Sununu
New JerseyJan. 9, 2023StatementGovernor Phil Murphy
New Mexico*no restrictions as of May 24, 2023
New York*no restrictions as of May 24, 2023
North CarolinaJan. 12, 2023Executive Order: Prohibiting the Use of Certain Applications or Websites on State Information TechnologyGovernor Roy Cooper
North DakotaDec. 13, 2022Executive Order 2022-10Governor Doug Burgum
OhioJan. 8, 2022Executive Order: Prohibition of Certain Applications, Platforms, and Websites onState-Owned and State-Leased DevicesGovernor Mike DeWine
OklahomaDec. 8, 2022Executive Order 2022-33Governor Kevin Stitt
Oregon*no restrictions as of May 24, 2023
Pennsylvania*no statewide ban though the Treasury Department has banned TikTok
Rhode Island*no restrictions as of May 24, 2023
South CarolinaDec. 5, 2022Memo to Marcia Adams, Executive Director of the Department of AdministrationGovernor Henry McMaster
South DakotaNov. 29, 2022Executive Order 2022-10Governor Kristi Noem
TennesseeDec. 10, 2022Statement to PressGovernor Bill Lee
TexasDec. 7, 2022Letter to State Agency HeadsGovernor Greg Abbott
UtahDec. 12, 2022Executive Order: Prohibiting the Use ofTikTok by State Agencies and on State-owned Electronic DevicesGovernor Spencer Cox
VermontFeb. 16, 2023Cybersecurity Standard Update 2023-01 MemorandumShawn Nailor, Secretary, Agency of Digital Service and State CIO
VirginiaDec. 16, 2022Executive Order: Banning the Use of Certain Applications and Websites on State Government TechnologyGovernor Glenn Youngkin
Washington*no restrictions as of May 24, 2023
West Virginia*no statewide ban though the Auditor’s Office has banned TikTok
WisconsinJan. 12, 2023Executive Order: Relating to Cybersecurity and Prohibiting the Use of Certain Foreign TechnologiesGovernor Tony Evers
WyomingDec. 15, 2022Memo: TikTokGovernor Mark Gordon

Discussion Questions

1. Should American federal or state governments ban TikTok on government devices? Why or why not?

2. Should TikTok be banned for the average American citizen? Explain your answer(s).

3. What policies should be enacted (if any) to minimize the risk of social media challenges and private data leaks? Explain your answer(s).

Take Action

1. Consider the plight of TikTok influencers in Montana with Gizmodo.

2. Examine Senator Romney’s RESTRICT Act.

3. Brainstorm ways to counter misinformation on social media with University of Regina researchers.

4. Consider how you felt about the issue before reading this article. After reading the pros and cons on this topic, has your thinking changed? If so, how? List two to three ways. If your thoughts have not changed, list two to three ways your better understanding of the “other side of the issue” now helps you better argue your position.

5. Push for the position and policies you support by writing US national senators and representatives.

Sources

1.Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, “TikTok,” britannica.com, Apr. 25, 2023
2.Joshua Levine, “Primer: Banning TikTok,” americanactionforum.org, Apr. 11, 2023
3.Bobby Allyn, “Trump Signs Executive Order That Will Effectively Ban Use Of TikTok In the U.S.,” npr.org, Aug. 6, 2020
4.John D. McKinnon and Georgia Wells, “U.S. Backs Down on TikTok,” wsj.com, Nov. 12, 2020
5.Executive Office of the President, “Protecting Americans' Sensitive Data From Foreign Adversaries,” federalregister.gov, June 9, 2021
6.Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, “M-23-13: Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies,” whitehouse.gov, Feb. 27, 2023
7.Raffaele Huang, “China Says It Opposes Forced Sale of TikTok,” wsj.com, Mar. 23, 2023
8.Emily Baker-White, “The FBI and DOJ Are Investigating ByteDance’s Use of TikTok to Spy on Journalists,” forbes.com, Mar. 16, 2023
9.Brian Fung, “Montana Lawmakers Vote to Completely Ban TikTok in the State,” cnn.com, Apr. 14, 2023
10.Meghan Bobrowsky, “TikTok Ban in Montana Faces Speed Bump as Governor Seeks Changes,” wsj.com, Apr. 25, 2023
11.David McCabe, “Montana Legislature Approves Outright Ban of TikTok,” nytimes.com, Apr. 14, 2023
12.Sapna Maheshwari, “Montana Governor Signs Total Ban of TikTok in the State,” nytimes.com, May 17, 2023
13.Bobby Allyn, “TikTok Sues Montana over Its New Law Banning the App,” npr.org, May 22, 2023
14.Amy Beth Hanson, Haleluya Hadero, and Matthew Brown, “TikTok Content Creators File Lawsuit against Montana over First-in-Nation Law Banning App,” apnews.com, May 18, 2023
15.N'dea Yancey-Bragg, “Why Are Universities Banning TikTok? Campuses Are Limiting Use on School Devices and Wi-Fi,” usatoday.com, Jan. 19, 2023
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18.Kelvin Chan, “Here Are the Countries That Have Bans on TikTok,” apnews.com, Apr. 4, 2023
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21.Catherine Thorbecke, “TikTok Says It Has 150 Million Us Users amid Renewed Calls for a Ban,” cnn.com, Mar. 21, 2023
22.Jacob Fischler, “One State Already Has Voted to Ban TikTok. For Congress, It’s Going to Be Much Tougher,” missouriindependent.com, Apr. 19, 2023
23.Brian Fung, “Lawmakers Say TikTok Is a National Security Threat, but Evidence Remains Unclear,” cnn.com, Mar. 21, 2023
24.Samantha Murphy Kelly, “Rep. Gallagher: We Can’t Ignore TikTok Risks ‘Just Because of Concerns of Alienating Some Teenagers,’” cnn.com, Mar. 23, 2023
25.Queenie Wong, “TikTok Is a Misinformation Minefield. Don't Get Tripped Up,” cnet.com, Oct. 10, 2022
26.Jack Brewster, Lorenzo Arvanitis, Valerie Pavilonis, and Macrina Wang, “Beware the ‘New Google:’ TikTok’s Search Engine Pumps Toxic Misinformation to Its Young Users,” newsguardtech.com, Sep. 11, 2022
27.Puneet Bhargava, “How Effective Are TikTok Misinformation Debunking Videos?,” misinforeview.hks.harvard.edu, Mar. 29, 2023
28.Tiffany Hsu, “Worries Grow That TikTok Is New Home for Manipulated Video and Photos,” nytimes.com, Nov. 4, 2022
29.Ben Popken, “Laundry Pods Can Be Fatal for Adults with Dementia,” nbcnews.com, June 16, 2017
30.Niraj Chokshi, “Yes, People Really Are Eating Tide Pods. No, It’s Not Safe.,” nytimes.com, Jan. 20, 2018
31.Matthew Wilkins, “Top 5 Questionable TikTok Trends So Far: From Eating Tide Pods to Dancing on Graves,” sportskeeda.com, Mar. 31, 2021
32.Kyra Colah, “7 Dangerous TikTok Challenges for Kids That Parents Must Know About: ‘Extreme and Risky,’” foxnews.com, Mar. 18, 2023
33.Rebecca Klar, “How Could the US Ban TikTok?,” thehill.com, Mar. 29, 2023
34.FBI, “The China Threat,” fbi.gov (accessed May 4, 2023)
35.Mitt Romney, “Romney, Colleagues Unveil Bill to Tackle TikTok’s National Security Threat,” romney.senate.gov, Mar. 3, 2023
36.Courtney Kube and Carol E. Lee, “U.S. Military Sites, despite U.S. Efforts to Block It,” nbcnews.com, Apr. 3, 2023
37.Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs, “Two Arrested for Operating Illegal Overseas Police Station of the Chinese Government,” justice.gov, Apr. 17, 2023
38.Geoffrey A. Fowler, “TikTok and You: Should You Delete the App Now?,” washingtonpost.com, Mar. 23, 2023
39.TikTok, “A Message to Our Community in Montana,” newsroom.tiktok.com, Mar. 13, 2023
40.Evan Greer, “Opinion: Banning TikTok Isn’t Just a Bad Idea. It’s a Dangerous One.,” cnn.com, Apr. 16, 2023
41.Mack DeGeurin, “‘Our Free Will Is Being Taken’: Montana TikTokers Caught in Legal Limbo After State’s Unprecedented Ban,” gizmodo.com, Apr. 27, 2023
42.TikTok, “Celebrating Our Thriving Community of 150 Million Americans,” newsroom.tiktok.com, Mar. 21, 2023
43.Colin Salao, “How a College Football Player Built an Audience of Nearly 2 Million TikTok Followers — and How Much He’s Earned from Brand Deals,” businessinsider.com, Nov. 28, 2022
44.Dan Whateley, “How Much Money TikTokers Make, according to Creators,” businessinsider.com, Dec. 21, 2022
45.Rebecca M. Kulik, “Xenophobia,” britannica.com, Apr. 27, 2023
46.Bryan Metzger, “Rep. Jamaal Bowman Says the Push to Ban TikTok Is ‘Xenophobic’ and ‘Part of Another Red Scare,’” businessinsider.com, Mar. 21, 2023
47.Catherine Thorbecke, “A TikTok Ban Would Help Facebook, Swisher Says,” cnn.com, Mar. 23, 2023
48.Thomas Germain, “Sen. Mark Warner Says His New TikTok Ban Is Just Good Business,” gizmodo.com, Mar. 6, 2023
49.Allison Morrow, “Washington Has Gone All In on TikTok Hysteria,” cnn.com, Mar. 23, 2023
50Karl Bode, “Forget a TikTok Ban, We Need to Regulate Data Brokers and Pass a Real Privacy Law,” techdirt.com, Mar. 21, 2023
51.Karl Bode, “He Great TikTok Moral Panic Continues As Senators Thune, Warner Attempt a More Elaborate Ban,” techdirt.com, Mar. 9, 2023
52.Julia Angwin, “How to Fix the TikTok Problem,” nytimes.com, Mar 20, 2023
53.Daniel Howley, “TikTok Is As Dangerous As Any Social Media App,” news.yahoo.com, Mar. 8, 2023
54.Sapna Maheshwari, "Judge Halts TikTok Ban in Montana," nytimes.com, Nov. 30, 2023