The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper


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PCP: Should TikTok be banned?

Two writers debate on whether the U.S. should restrict the app from citizens
PCP: Should TikTok be banned?
Walsh, Madeline (513002)

Keep TikTok

by: Ava Hepokoski

Many people have heard about the possibility of TikTok being banned for users in the United States. The government has discussed in their legislative battle with the company that they hope to ban TikTok because they believe the app allows the Chinese government to access user data and influence users negatively.

In my opinion,TikTok is a safe and fun platform that should not be banned. 

TikTok is one of the world’s most popular apps, with over 1.7 billion users as of 2024. I first downloaded TikTok in 2020 andI immediately fell in love with it. I loved how I could express myself, watch some of my favorite celebrities, and follow my friends. 

TikTok has two-factor authentication, comment filters, and even selective content for children below the age of 15. Additionally, users between the ages of 13 and 15 are given private accounts by default. Personally, my account on TikTok is private, which means that people have to request to follow me in order to view my videos. I love this feature because I only want my close friends to watch my videos. Anyone can make their account private, which makes the app safer because you can limit who views your videos. 

Additionally, there is a wide variety of videos you can watch on TikTok, ranging from cooking to dances, skits, and even education. This creates a huge source of entertainment for many people. Personally, I have learned a lot from TikTok. I hear about world news and even learn how to prepare food.  

People who have a lot of followers on TikTok also can make money. Some people’s main source of income is their TikTok account. These influencers worked hard to get to where they are, and if TikTok gets banned, it would erase all of that work.  

This app can allow people to express themselves and build people’s confidence. In some videos, the comment section is filled with people building others up. The focus is people’s self esteem.  Also, this app allows you to post any video you want, as long as it is safe and appropriate. This allows people to express their true self.  Unfortunately, bullying does happen on the app. However, you can always block any user you want to.  

TikTok is a social media platform that connects people across the country. It allows people to make friends who live thousands of miles away. 

If the U.S. government continues with this legislation and bans TikTok, it could lead to further limitations on other social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. This is ultimately restricting people’s freedom of speech and expression on the internet. 

TikTok is a fun app that many people use and love. The decision to ban TikTok would be very sad and financially disastrous for many people who love to express themselves on the app and also people who enjoy watching TikTok in their freetime.

Ban TikTok

by: Ray Klaczynski

It’s hard to ever imagine our daily lives without the use of social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, etc., constantly influencing our daily lives. But out of all these platforms, TikTok sticks out as a cultural prodigy.

In just eight years, it has attracted over 1 billion users with its addicting features and short videos. While it is undeniable that TikTok has gained an enormous following, it is also undeniable that there are solid reasons for advocating its ban. 

First of all, users’ privacy is seriously compromised by TikTok. Users’ location, web browsing history, and even face recognition data are among the many pieces of sensitive information that the system gathers. Concerns about surveillance and misuse by the platform and third parties have only increased since the data gathering scandals. The need for more supervision and regulations on TikTok would pressure them into protecting privacy rights.

Specifically when it comes to its younger users, TikTok fails to even have minimal measures to prevent predatory behavior and inappropriate content. Using the platform’s For You Page, most female users have encountered sexual content, cyberbullying, or dangerous challenges at least once. Despite TikTok’s promises, users will continue to be at risk of abuse and harm due to the lack of control over content management.

Not to mention that many users, particularly young ones, have reported mental health challenges while using TikTok. Anxieties, low self-esteem, and feelings of failure most likely come from the platform’s unrealistic beauty standards. This doesn’t even include the influencers use of mass amounts of makeup, filters, or even going as far as using photoshop. The pressure to create viral content and always comparing yourself with “perfect” influencers can have a negative impact on a human’s mental health, increasing the risk of stress and depression.

To add onto the issues related to mental health and privacy, TikTok has come under fire for contributing to the promotion of false information and encouraging harmful behaviors. People have and currently are using the app to spread false information about politics, social concerns, and health, which ruins peoples trust in the news from even the trustworthy sources, just contributing to continuing division in the United States. 

There are some really intelligent TikTok users who came up with the great idea to start challenges like the “Tide Pod Challenge” and the “Benadryl Challenge.” These have  led to multiple injuries, and even death. What’s next? “Gallon Bleach Challenge,” who can drink it faster?

Recognizing these major issues, it’s clear that the negative effects of TikTok outweigh the entertainment value. The goal of protecting peoples’ privacy, safety, and mental health over the goal of business profits and popular trends, would be made very clear by banning TikTok. A ban on TikTok could be seen as some type of violation of free speech, but it’s key to remember that these kinds of restrictions are needed to protect people, especially those who are more vulnerable to danger, especially children.

In the end, banning TikTok should be a pretty obvious answer by now. Until Tik Tok can fix privacy violations, protect users from danger, and promote mental health and wellness, TikTok is safe for no one. Swift action must be taken to hold TikTok accountable and guarantee that the safety of its users is its main priority.

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About the Contributors
Ava Hepokoski
Ava Hepokoski, Reporter
Replacing Julia next year #indepth
Ray Klaczynski
Ray Klaczynski, Reporter
I let Future Ray handle my problems

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