Americans concerned with China and TikTok

Laneya Christian, Mentor Editorial Staff

With the recent concerns about the discovery of a Chinese surveillance balloon that floated over the United States has become really popular on the social media app TikTok. Since the app is owned by a Chinese company, ByteDance, it has been suspected that China can collect data for Chinese intelligence. Critics of TikTok say that the video-sharing of the recent discovery should be banned in the U.S. to protect Americans.

Is it because the app could pose a national security threat due to its connection to the Chinese Communist Party or is it because TikTok keeps people woke?

We on The Mentor editorial board think there have been more concerning TikTok trends to worry about than the surveillance balloon, such as videos challenging children to perform harmful and even deadly acts. We don’t see how a balloon in the sky trying to steal information or the claimed ‚Äúcivilian airship” used for meteorology and other scientific purposes is the most important event in the world right now. Just think about the recent incident that happened in Ohio with the toxic train derailment or what about the earthquake that killed over 35,000 people in Turkey and Syria. 

Kids and teenagers discover information from the app because of its algorithm, which pushes content in their faces, so you would assume that they’ll become easily influenced. These trend situations are the ones that need to be discussed to protect our youth. Recently, The Skull Breaker trend has resulted in serious head injuries or even death because it involves tripping someone while they jump to impress viewers. 

In 2022 the most dangerous trends are continuously occurring more in 2023. For instance The Blackout Challenge involves someone intentionally cutting off their oxygen supply until they pass out, The Choking Challenge involves attempting to choke oneself or another person in order to achieve a feeling of euphoria and the Benadryl Challenge involves taking large doses of the over-the-counter allergy medicine Benadryl. Sadly, there are many others. 

We wouldn’t know about these trends if they were not being covered by the media so should America really ban the platform? 

The app is meant for people to express themselves through singing, dancing, comedy and lip-synching, as well as to create videos and share them across a community.

The Mentor Editorial Staff finds it strange that the U.S. government has approved an unprecedented ban on the use of TikTok on federal government devices. But it doesn’t seem appropriate to limit adult government employees’ use of TikTok while allowing continued use of other social media apps that can do the same thing.