TikTok’s forced sale benefits corporations, not consumers

Maxwell Mayleben ® Editor in Chief |
Comic by Luis Ortiz ® Cartoonist |

I love TikTok. The app has provided me with hours upon hours of entertainment that rivals that of Vine and even YouTube. The one minute-long limit to each video gives creators enough just enough time to make innovative and interesting content, while still being extremely consumable on a large scale.

The app has come under much scrutiny lately due to its ties with the Chinese government and fears of data mining, propagating the Chinese government, and censoring anti-Chinese rhetoric.

The Trump administration aims to ban the app’s usage in the United States, due to these purported security threats. 

There is one caveat; the app won’t be banned if purchased by an American company. 

This is madness.

If we follow this from a free market train of thought, which I am often keen to do, then we as people agree to use the app, and if we were uncomfortable with the dangers that it may face, then we can choose to not use it. 

Additionally, if another, larger company came along and decided to purchase TikTok on their own volition, then they should be free to do so. 

We as consumers have chosen that we are okay with the “risk” and continue to use the application.

Where I find issue is that the selling of the app does not solve the original problem of security concerns. It simply takes the power of data mining and propaganda away from a Chinese-controlled entity and gifts it to a U.S. run company.

Why not instead of replacing one unethical corporation with another, use the powers that the government has to create regulations on mining consumer data. This would mean that ethical behavior is upheld by all companies, whether they are foreign owned or domestic. 

The way I see it, the government can’t have it both ways. They need to decide if TikTok is a danger to the American public, and if it is, outright ban it. If TikTok is not dangerous, then they should not interfere and force the sale of the company.

The very idea of the government forcing a business to sell to another business is unethical and anti-American, and we as consumers should not stand for it. 

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