Should TikTok Be Banned in the United States?

Mounties share the reasons why they think TikTok should or should not be banned in the United States.


Ava Smith, Staff Writer

Did you know that about 76 million Americans use TikTok? In the past few years, there have been many concerns about the security of American TikTok users’ personal information. 

Tiktok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, and it was first launched in 2017, reaching about 1 million active monthly users in 2022. 

Over the past three years, TikTok has been sued many times for many different reasons, the primary reason being safety and security concerns over the private information of users.

Mount Saint Joseph Academy student Violet Binczewski ‘26 said, “we live in a time where almost everything is done online, especially for government officials and documents. Who knows who could hack into what?” She specifically agrees with the recent decision to ban South Dakota government workers from having TikTok because of the risk of private documents being hacked into.

The TikTok Community Guidelines pledge that no private information is being shared. It says:

“We do not allow access to the TikTok platform…to obtain sensitive confidential commercial or personal information.” 

But, can the company be trusted? Many Mounties are concerned that their personal information collected by TikTok is being exploited.

Aderinsola Adegboyega ‘23 said, “…people should just be careful with what they are posting because people can use content from pictures or videos to figure out where you are and what you are doing.”

“…The thing that creeps me out, and it may be a reason why TikTok is considered insecure, is that I’ll be talking about something in real life with my friends, and that same thing I talked about will show up on my for you page shortly after. I have experienced that with a few other social media apps, but it happens mainly on TikTok,” Madeline Norton ‘24 said.

TikTok algorithms are based on users and videos you have interacted with, how much time you spend watching certain videos, and more. The TikTok algorithm system is very complex, and many people find it unsettling that they could be talking about or looking up a topic online only to later see a video of the same topic on their For You Page. This phenomenon raises more questions about just how much information TikTok possessed about each of its users. 

Lilly Bradfield 24’ said, “I think it should only be banned if it starts to become a threat and there is solid proof.” 

“Yes [I do believe TikTok should be banned]. Not even just because of security—it’s literally all I can do. I’ve put a time limit on; I’ve also deleted it multiple times, and I always download it back. It’s just too addicting, and it’s ruining my life. I don’t get any schoolwork done, I only go on TikTok. I look at myself all day, and I constantly compare myself to others,” Hannah Schaefer ‘23 said.

Security is not the only reason adults and teenagers want the app banned. The average TikTok user spends around 95 minutes on the app per day, and although TikTok has successfully created a safe space for some users, others find the app to have had a negative impact on their mental health.

Do you think TikTok should be banned?