People in the US, you have 45 days left to use the app
Coming into force in 45 days, the order bans any US transactions with ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, meaning companies like Apple and Google will no longer be able to host the app for downloads.
The ban has been in public discussion since last month, when the secretary of state said the government was “looking at” banning various Chinese social media apps. Trump quickly declared his support of the ban, suggesting it was a retaliation against China for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The party line, however, is that the ban stems from security concerns about TikTok being used by its China-based owners to mine personal data from Americans, a claim ByteDance has consistently denied. The president has also issued the same order against Chinese messaging app WeChat.
The US isn’t the first country to take action against TikTok. India has already banned the app, along with 58 other Chinese platforms, while lawmakers in Japan and Australia are considering similar measures.
There’s still hope for US TikTok users, though, as Microsoft is looking to buy the app – the purchase would have to be completed by September 15 in order to go ahead. You can read all about the ban – which is likely to face legal challenges in the coming days – here.
In honour of its final 45 days, Dazed compiles a list of everything we’ll miss about TikTok. Get ready for an emotional ride.
BREAKING: President Trump just issued an executive order "on Addressing the Threat Posed by TikTok." It takes effect in 45 days, prohibits "any transaction" with ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, and will almost certainly face legal challenges. pic.twitter.com/Ma9XOfYgOB— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) August 7, 2020
IT’S AN UNRIVALED PLATFORM FOR ACTIVISM
If you think of TikTok as just dance routines, think again. The platform has become a galvanising force when it comes to activism, with Gen Z using the app to mass organise and raise awareness about urgent issues. From local activism like strikes in solidarity with teachers to confronting global movements like Black Lives Matter, TikTokers are proving that social media can be a powerful tool for change. Teens are getting creative with their activism too, with witches hexing police officers amid BLM protests, and women in South Asia lip syncing for their lives.
TEENS MOCKING TRUMP
The war between teens on TikTok and Trump may be the best rivalry in recent history. It all started when users on the app (along with K-pop stans) organised to reserve seats at the president’s first campaign rally in months, significantly skewing his expectations of how many people were planning on attending. Of course, the teens had no intention of turning up, and Trump was embarrassed when just 6,000 of his expected one million people arrived. From there, TikTokers continued to troll the president, mass reporting his social media accounts, sabotaging more rallies, and leaving negative reviews on his campaign app. Users also consistently perform skits mocking Trump, dressing up as him, adding him to the Mean Girls Burn Book, and acting out his absurd coronavirus speeches.
All this wasn’t without retaliation, though. Trump started sharing anti-TikTok ads on his social media accounts, and has now effectively won the war with his all-out ban of the app. Seems like a sore loser move to me, TBH.
ALL THE BANGERS
TikTok has completely transformed the charts, and offered artists a new way of getting their music heard. Take Lil Nas X, for example, who would never have become a global superstar if “Old Town Road” didn’t go viral on TikTok. Think of other iconic tunes TikTok has given us: Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage”, Benee’s “Supalonely” featuring Gus Dapperton, Doja Cat’s “Say So”, and so much more (it probably helps that you can imagine the dance moves that go with each track). TikTok is so good for musical success that BTS even premiered a new song exclusively on the platform. And, of course, how could we forget the biggest banger ever given to the world: “Mi pan, su su sum, su su su”. Bonus clip: without TikTok music, we would never have this gem.
ITS NUANCED DISCUSSIONS ABOUT ALL OF THE ISSUES
As well as being an unrivaled platform for activism, TikTok has opened up conversations about a number of urgent political issues. There’s the girl who went viral for documenting her abortion experience, the users raising awareness about harassment faced by women by creating a sound that you can use if you feel unsafe during a taxi ride, and the LGBTQ+ teens highlighting how much of a raging homophobe Mike Pence is. Again getting creative, users have disguised their political speeches as make-up tutorials, used humour to show the urgency of issues like gun control, exposed abusive relationships by dancing to their shitty exes voicemails, and encouraged others to check their privilege using the “put a finger down…” trend. You can see a handful of the best political TikToks here.
THE MEMES, JOKES, AND WEIRD AF VIDEOS
TikTok is the easiest app to spend hours on because of the weird and wonderful array of hilarious clips. If you’ve tailored your FYP correctly, you’ll have a non-stop stream of intelligent skits, Vine-esque memes, and just bizarre AF videos that will keep you scrolling forever. For your viewing pleasure, I’ll embed a few of the best below. You’re welcome.
don’t ask my we have that hat in our house because I don’t know the answer, anyway guess I’m switching nationalities♬ original sound - astapasta3