Millions of people spend a ridiculous amount of time on the social media app Tik Tok. In December, a number of states had begun to ban it.  Is New York next?

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What is Tik Tok?

If you've never used Tik Tok before, it's essentially a social media app where people can post short videos.  A lot of the videos are meant to be funny or cute.  But there are all kinds of videos there.

Tik Tok is owned by a Chinese company called ByteDance.  It's become the second-most popular domain in the world. There are a lot of teens on the app and they use that to get a lot of information.

Should Tik Tok be banned in the United States?

It may seem a little silly when looking at it from a distance.  Why in the world would we need to ban an app of people dancing or creating short videos that will make us laugh?  That seems like a waste of time and resources.

But when you look at it a little closer, it makes a little more sense.  It's an app that is owned by another country and when you sign in, you give them permission to access your personal information.

Why are public officials worried about it?

The concern is that the Chinese government will have access to American information, or be able to push misinformation amongst American users by using the app.

"If you’re trying to influence a massive population of people by spreading propaganda or suppressing certain ideas, having an idea of what messages do and don’t work is a really powerful tool.” - Thomas Germain, a tech reporter for Gizmodo

Where is it banned already?

There are multiple states that have already banned Tik Tok, but for now, the ban only exists when it pertains to government devices.  So if you have a job working for the government, it would be banned on your computer at work.  If you have a government-issued phone or tablet, it would be banned there also.  The last thing they want is for another country to have access to any of our government information or records.

When this article was written in December, there were only a handful of states that had officially banned the app.  Since then, the states that have banned Tik Tok on government devices have grown to include:

  1. Nebraska
  2. South Dakota
  3. North Dakota
  4. Maryland
  5. South Carolina
  6. Texas
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Utah
  9. Louisiana
  10. West Virginia
  11. Georgia
  12. Oklahoma
  13. Idaho
  14. Iowa
  15. Tennessee
  16. Alabama
  17. Virginia
  18. Montana
  19. Ohio
  20. New Jersey
  21. Kansas
  22. Pennsylvania (banned on all state-owned devices in Treasury as well as a ban on Treasury networks)
  23. Florida (banned by Florida’s Department of Financial Services)

Will New York be next?

There is a bill that has been proposed already by Senator Kevin Thomas.  This one seems like a no-brainer anyway, doesn't it?  Why would you need to use a social media app on a government-issued device anyway?

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