The Student News Site of Seoul International School


Upcoming Events



Students voice opinions on possible TikTok ban

The long conflict between the US government and TikTok broke out when the House of Representatives passed a bill on March 13. The bill forced ByteDance, a Chinese internet company, to decide between two options: sell TikTok or ban the app in the US. TikTok users in the US began to panic, especially small businesses, as they mainly used TikTok to promote themselves. 

The House stated in the bill that TikTok would be removed from US app stores unless it was separate from ByteDance. The bill was passed in the House with 352 affirmative votes and 65 dissenting votes. 

Lawmakers believed that ByteDance may be sharing sensitive user data, such as the location of users, with the Chinese government. As entertaining as the application is, fake news is spread rapidly through the platform, creating negative feelings against certain communities. Concerns about TikTok fueling the spread of antisemitism and promoting pro-Palestinian content to American users were raised. For example, in November 2023, Jewish celebrities and influencers confronted TikTok executives in a private call. This call highlighted that TikTok did not prevent the flood of comments on Jewish creators such as “Hitler should have won” or “I hope you end up like Anne Frank.”

TikTok CEO, Shou Zi Chew faced hours of questioning by Congress in March 2023. The Congress raised the same concerns on privacy that are still escalating. This bill had many conflicting arguments among SIS students and staff members.

“I have been a TikTok user since 2020,” Sungjoon Hur (9), a TikTok user, said. “I think TikTok should be banned because not only does it make us addicted to it, but it also displays violence. Once, I saw someone getting shot on TikTok. I think they should adjust and improve their AI skills for safe content for children.”

Some SIS students believe that the US government is exaggerating and are only alarmed because TikTok is not a US company.

“I have been using TikTok every day for two years,” Andrew Ban (10), a TikTok user, said. “I believe that the US government just dislikes the fact that a foreign app is dominating their country.”

Steve Nave, a world history teacher at SIS and a social media user, raised a similar argument.

“I think Facebook and Instagram collect information just like TikTok but since it’s a foreign country it is looked at as potentially harmful,” Mr. Nave said. 

In the questioning of Chew by Congress in March 2023, Chew stated that TikTok has no ill intentions for the media. 

“I think that the app itself has no harmful intentions,” Yoonwoo Lee (10), another TikTok user, said. “However, what is on the app is dangerous as it spreads a lot of fake information and from time to time has inappropriate content that could be harmful when exposed to a younger audience. I do not think it is reasonable to ban TikTok mainly because it has not done massive harm yet. Also, from a business standpoint, a lot of people sell their products and advertise on TikTok so it will definitely give a lot of businesses a hard time.”

TikTok has been one of the main sources small businesses look up to, with approximately 225,000 brands on TikTok. Countless brands rely on this app to go viral. 

“There are more serious issues that need to be discussed,” Winston Chen (10), a TikTok user, said. “For example, gun violence is harming a lot of people in the US. Instead of being concerned with an app, they should be more concerned with the physical safety of their citizens.”

Although some SIS students believe that the TikTok ban is reasonable, more argue against it.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Everlyn Chong
Everlyn Chong, Reporter
Everlyn Chong is a sophomore reporter for Tiger Times Online. She enjoys playing sports, especially basketball and golf. In her free time, you may find her reading novels, walking her dog, or listening to music. Feel free to approach her with any song recommendations!

Comments (0)

All TIGER TIMES ONLINE Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *