Possible TikTok ban has students concerned | WTAQ News Talk | Green Bay, WI
GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ-WLUK) – TikTok’s ownership structure has left some with more questions than answers surrounding privacy and data sharing on the popular app.
“For better or for worse, I do get a lot of my information from TikTok,” said Jeremy Thompson, a student at UW-Green Bay.
Congress is considering a nationwide ban on the social media app. Members are concerned about the data collected on the app getting into the Chinese government’s hands.
Earlier this month, the media platform was prohibited on government devices.
U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-8th District, compares TikTok to fentanyl, saying that both are highly addictive.
“I would say it’s not just about dumb dance videos. Increasingly, this is the platform that young Americans get their news on. If you’re getting your news from TikTok and the CCP can tweak or control the algorithm, they have the ability to influence your perception of reality, what you think is true and what isn’t true — and could create chaos in the process.”
While lawmakers debate forcing a sale or prohibiting the popular app, local university members express their opinions on what this means for the future.
“I think it would cause a lot of upset and turmoil,” said UW-Green Bay student Courtney Colwell. “I think our generation likes to have a lot of freedom in our choices and how we spend our time.”
Gallager says the Chinese government could use the app as propaganda.
“They can control what news gets incepted into TikTok newsfeeds. They can meddle in future elections if they so choose to do that. That’s really the essence of the dilemma here.”
Thompson uses the app for more than just news. He says banning the app might be detrimental to finding creative ideas.
“I think our generation is constantly looking for ways to escape. I mean, you take away TikTok, we’re gonna fill that void with something else.”
The next step is for the committee to take a look at the three proposed bills concerning TikTok and come to a compromise.
Gallagher believes a forced sale of TikTok to an American company could be an acceptable outcome.
A decision is set to be finalized in the coming days.