The social media giant TikTok is facing a nation-wide ban in the United States, as the government and US senate see the platform as a threat to national security, due it being owned by a Chinese parent company ByteDance ltd.

Many American parents see it as a concerning issue for their young children being exposed to exploitation. If the US Senate passes the legislation to ban TikTok in the country, there will also be a forced sale from its parent company.

The CEO of TikTok Shou Chew, travelled to Capitol Hill in Washington DC to fight against the bill that will result in either outcome if ByteDance ltd does not win.

“Let me state this unequivocally: ByteDance is not an agent of China or any other country,” Shou Chew explains to the US Senate panel.

TikTok, the social media app that started out with popular videos by influencers has now got a user rate 48.3 million as of the beginning of 2024. This popularity and attraction to young people also attract people with bad intentions.

Many social media platforms have a legal minimum account age of 13 years old and TikTok is one of those platforms. There have been campaigns in the past to restrict and raise the minimum age to 16 or even 18 years old.

The United States Government is not just trying to ban the app and force its sale due to national security reasons, but also for the safety of America’s youth.

Social media has become a large part in a teenager’s everyday tech usage, while at the same time, TikTok influencers may be seen to show false representations of how a young adult should aspire to be, leading to negative mental health repercussions.

EU regulators have forced a fine on TikTok, for not providing enough safety measures for protecting the personal data of minors. The European Union has implemented their Digital Services Act, TikTok has been criticised for not complying to its policies, proving some reckless behaviour by certain influencers.

There have already been nations that have banned TikTok, India has banned many China-based apps including TikTok. The platform has been fighting the US Senate on free speech grounds.

The Biden administration has given TikTok an ultimatum, to either become independent from ByteDance ltd or face a nationwide ban in the US.

The US Government are questioning how the ban will unfold in the country, as they will need to order application stores to take down the app off their market while at the same time will current users be able to continue using the service.