5 Facts Why the US Blocks TikTok, What is the Reason?

Teuku.net - TikTok has become the most popular application with more than 1 billion active users every month in 154 countries around the world.

Even though the application made by a company from China called ByteDance is very popular, TikTok has received negative attention, especially in the United States (US).

One of the main reasons the US 'desperate' to block TikTok is related to data security, which was when Donald Trump served as US President.

At that time, TikTok was threatened with being blocked in the US because it was considered that the Chinese government could use the application to gain access to the devices of citizens in the United States.

5 Facts Why the US Blocks TikTok, What is the Reason?

After having died down, TikTok is back in the spotlight of US lawmakers with various reasons and accusations related to the application from China. As a result, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew attended a congressional hearing with the House Energy and Commerce Committee to provide answers regarding these various concerns.

In front of lawmakers, Chew was beaten hard with a number of questions related to the TikTok application. During the five-hour session, lawmakers emphasized how the Chinese company was seen as a threat to US security and potential for economic dominance.

They say it is possible that the platform with 150 million monthly users in the US could be used by the Chinese Communist Party to gather information on millions of US citizens. Meanwhile, other US lawmakers consider the TikTok application to be very dangerous for children's mental health.

Following are a series of facts regarding the reasons the US wants to block TikTok, as compiled by TechTeuku

1. China's involvement in the management of TikTok

Since TikTok launched in 2016, the US has suspected the app is controlled by the Chinese government and could be used to illegally collect US user data.

Facts showing China's involvement in the management of TikTok include: - This application is owned by a technology company from China. - The Chinese government has the right to regulate information and data that enters and leaves the country.

However, this was dismissed by Shou when he appeared before US lawmakers. He said the application was run independently or had nothing to do with the Chinese government.

Despite being urged to hand over user data, TikTok has said in no uncertain terms that it will not comply with such requests easily.

2. Privacy and user data security issues

In line with the above, the US is concerned that TikTok user data may be collected by the Chinese government and used for unwanted purposes.

Again, the company says it has spent more than US$1.5 billion (around Rp. 22.6 trillion) on data security efforts referred to as "Project Texas".

The initiative has nearly 1,500 full-time employees and is contracted to Oracle Corp to store data on TikTok users in the US. However, criticism continued to flow in court because the company did not provide new measures to protect user privacy.

Chew later assured lawmakers that the company did not promote or remove content at the request of the Chinese government. "It is our commitment to the committee and all users that we will keep (TikTok) free from any manipulation by any government. TikTok strictly filters content that can harm children," he explained.

3. Spying on US Persons

About 20 US senators (10 Democrats and 10 Republicans) have supported bipartisan legislation that gives way for President Joe Biden's administration to ban TikTok.

TikTok last week said the Biden administration was demanding its parent company, Bytedance, relinquish their shares to US companies or they would face a block.

Speaking of potential divestments, Chew said the issue was not about ownership and argued that US concerns with TikTok could be addressed by moving the data to a US repository.

China's Ministry of Commerce said that forcing the sale of TikTok would seriously undermine the confidence of investors from around the world, including China, to invest in the United States.

At a House hearing last Thursday, lawmaker Neal Dunn asked Chew whether ByteDance had been spying on Americans at Beijing's request? Chew replied, "No."

Republican Dunn then asked about US media reports that a China-based ByteDance team was planning to use TikTok to monitor the locations of certain US citizens, and repeated his question about whether ByteDance was spying?

"I don't think spying is the right way to describe it," Chew emphasized.

He went on to describe the report as an internal investigation, but was immediately cut short by Dunn, who called the widespread use of TikTok "cancer".

4. Controversy about inappropriate content

TikTok has been criticized for content deemed inappropriate and can influence young users. Some parents and US officials fear that TikTok's violent, pornographic and other inappropriate content could harm children and young people. Chew denied the accusations, saying the company invests in content moderation and artificial intelligence to limit such content.

But Chew denied the allegations, saying the company invests in content moderation and artificial intelligence to limit such content. He said the app TikTok takes the issue of suicide and self-harm "very, very seriously".

5. Effects of TikTok on Children's Mental Health

Democratic Party member Kim Schries questioned Chew about TikTok's effect on children's mental health, noting it was designed to be addictive. Schries, a pediatrician and politician, noted a particular problem with teenagers staying up all night to use apps.

He asked Chew if TikTok had any psychologists or other medical advisors who looked at the effects of screen time on sleep deprivation. TikTok's CEO pointed to working with a specialist pediatric healthcare facility in Boston to develop a feature that limits screen time to one hour and encourages them to take breaks.

Schries responded by calling this an “opt out” that no one would use. "That's like asking a heavy smoker not to take his next cigarette, it's not going to happen,"

Reference : detik.net

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