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TikTok Ban Incoming: The Potential Degradation of Social Media

Discover the impact of the TikTok ban on social media in today's episode. Learn about its effects on the digital landscape.

Gabriel Sidwell
Gabriel Sidwell
6 min read
TikTok Ban Incoming: The Potential Degradation of Social Media

The term “social media” was coined with the release of an online platform called “Six Degrees”, which was released in 1997 to people to create their own profiles and connect with friends online. It set the groundwork for other websites like Myspace and Facebook, and social media has since revolutionized the way we connect and maintain friendships today.

It took a while for me to get into social media myself. I never saw a reason to really establish any sort of online presence until like… six years ago. Even then, I mostly stuck with Discord so that I could talk to the friends I made on Final Fantasy 14. But now… for the sake of my business, I have since tried to make a better effort in setting up my platforms online.

I waited as long as I did to get into social media because I was always worried about my online privacy. Social media has opened a lot of discussions since its inception, most of those discussions concerned internet safety and privacy, especially following the recent Cambridge Analytica Scandal

With how easy it is to create a social media account, new worries about how much personal information is leaked online has become the forefront of arguments to limit these platforms’ operations - especially with young children.

These arguments recently came to a head with the recent vote from the U.S. Government to ban TikTok from all electronic devices nationwide. Today, we’re going to talk about this - and the implications this ban may have on social media if successful.

United States Vote to Ban TikTok

The recent vote by a U.S. congressional committee to advance legislation aimed at TikTok has sparked significant discussion concerning the app’s future in the United States. The bill would require TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, to divest the app to a non-Chinese entity.

Failure to comply would cause TikTok being banned from app stores and web hosting services in the United States. This move comes amid bipartisan concerns over national security, particularly the potential for user data to be accessed by the Chinese government, although TikTok denies such allegations. 

This legislation underscores the ongoing debate over internet safety, privacy, and the influence of foreign-owned tech companies on American soil. We’ve seen this coming for a while now. TikTok, recently, was banned from being used in government buildings for fear of secrets being leaked to foreign governments.

United States map
Photo by Joey Csunyo / Unsplash

The move to potentially ban TikTok, however, highlights deeper concerns about data sovereignty and cybersecurity, reflecting a growing wariness about the influence of foreign entities on American digital life. 

This legislative action also prompts a reevaluation of how the U.S. approaches internet freedom versus national security, showing a shift in policy that could set a precedent for other foreign-owned applications. And American owned ones, if anyone was looking forward to seeing Mark Zuckerberg back in court.

What This Can Mean For U.S. Users

If TikTok were to be successfully banned in the U.S., other social media platforms could see various impacts. For instance, there could be a significant migration of TikTok users and content creators to platforms offering similar short-form video content, like Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. This shift can boost user engagement and advertising revenue on these platforms.

However, the ban could also set a precedent for increased regulatory scrutiny of all social media platforms, particularly those with foreign ties, leading to potentially stricter data privacy and security measures. 

The situation with TikTok highlights the importance of algorithmic transparency and privacy enhancements across the social media industry, as platforms may feel pressured to be more open about their data handling and content recommendation processes to maintain user trust and comply with potential regulations.

Photo by Michael Dziedzic / Unsplash

Or harass them, depending on the intentions of our politicians. Already, we’re seeing Trump show his hand while making unscrupulous statements regarding Facebook as he calls the platform “the enemy of the people”. Politicians who share similar sentiments may be emboldened to push their own policies onto other social media platforms if TikTok is successfully banned from the United States - weakening our ability to promote and engage in free speech.

What Creators and Brands Should Do in the Meantime

An article written by Harriet Phillips, the Insights Manager at The Goat Agency, made several recommendations for what creators and brands should start doing in order to mitigate the impact of the TikTok ban if it goes through. The five recommendations Harriet made in her article are:

  1. “Create a Multichannel Strategy”: Use more than one social media channel to create content and promote your brand. Users who have exclusively posted on TikTok are now scrambling to save their content as we speak. Having multiple channels to post your content to not only helps prevent you from losing all of your work in the future; but also helps you engage with a wider audience from different platforms. Never let one entity house all of your work if you want to prevent the heartbreak of losing it all because of events like these.
  2. “Learn From the Best”: Different platforms will cater to different audiences. If you’re a content creator looking to diversify your channels - do some research into similar channels within your niche and how their content differs between platforms. It’ll make it easier to keep a following in the future.
  3. “Work with Multiple Influencers”: My opinion may differ a little from Phillips here, where she writes that “collaborating with a range of different creators on various platforms is a recipe for success”. I feel this depends on the niche you’re in, but if you’ve seen success in working with other influencers in the past, go for it again as you’re diversifying your channels.
  4. “Cross-Promote”: If you have a following on TikTok already, it won’t hurt to promote your new channels on other platforms to your fans. Folks who were once exclusive to TikTok should do this immediately. Another thing you could do is create your own website containing all of your social media links - that way your fans have an easy to access landing page for all of your work (this is what I’m doing right now with as my main website provider / landing page).
  5. “Keep Up With the Community”: Be sure you’re able to connect with your fans, followers, and readers no matter what channels you end up going to. Don’t spread yourself too thin, otherwise diversifying your channels may prove way too unwieldy for sustainable growth.
man in black t-shirt sitting at the table using macbook pro
Photo by ConvertKit / Unsplash

Whether TikTok is successfully banned in the United States, we can expect the internet and the entire infrastructure of social media to see a massive shake-up soon. 

While I do not use TikTok, it scares me to think that the Government thinks it can take away a medium of creativity from the people - regardless of concerns to national security. I mean, aren’t there better actions we can take to protect our internet data and privacy, like revamping how data is recorded in the first place? 

The technology exists - we have accessible VPNs we could use to better protect ourselves online. Let’s start a conversation today. Should internet security overshadow our creative freedoms?

Referenced Articles


Gabriel Sidwell

Gabriel, also known as the Penman, is a public health worker and enthusiast who never abandoned their creative outlets once they were out in the real world. He moonlights as a aspiring author.


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