Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > News

Time is Ticking for TikTok: What FSU Students Think of the Possible Ban

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

TikTok, the popular short-form video app, is no stranger to the American Congress. Back in August of 2020, the app was targeted by then-president Donald Trump and the Senate in an attempt to ban the app. This attempt was proven unsuccessful. Now, bill S. 686 was introduced and awaits to pass the Senate. Known as the “RESTRICT Act,” the bill does not only target TikTok but it does more than many bills introduced to the Senate.

Essentially, if passed, the bill will cover hardware technology like routers and home cameras, even virtual tech such as VPNs. The bill would ban these if they were manufactured by or used to contact and deal with foreign adversaries. In addition, the use of VPNs to bypass banned apps, such as TikTok, would be deemed a criminal act with a penalty of minimum imprisonment of 20 years and a $250,000 fine, or $1 million if it is knowingly done to access banned content. S. 686 would give the federal government the power to monitor any activity used by suspected devices, virtual or otherwise. This includes things such as routers, video games and smart thermostats. This would happen by the appointment of a secretary of communication, who would form a group to vote on anything that is deemed inappropriate or a security risk. 

Biden’s administration has now withdrawn Trump’s executive orders that ought to ban TikTok and extended them to other apps with potential ties to foreign adversaries. The order will direct the commerce department to conduct reviews of apps that could pose a threat or risk to U.S. national security or the privacy of American citizens. The proposed ban now has bipartisan support as both the Democratic and the Republican parties have expressed concerns about TikTok and its ties to China. TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has proposed solutions to reassure American security, which the U.S. has rejected, stating that the only solution would be to sell TikTok to an American company. 

When given this background information, Florida State University (FSU) students gave their honest opinions on the attempt to ban TikTok. 

Anielya, a dance major at FSU, mentioned that she hates what the government is doing to possibly ban TikTok. She explained that she gets her news from TikTok instead of actual news platforms. 

Brandon, a political science graduate student at FSU, shared “TikTok is taking information from their app, [they] aren’t getting anything worth taking.” He also added that “you can get news from anywhere,” when he was questioned about TikTok being used as a news source for many users. 

Riley Mateos, an engineering major, shared the following: “I mean, have we stopped to consider that with the Chinese spy balloon being shot down, the U.S. Congress could be telling the truth and is indeed trying to protect American data security?” She added, “It seems like there is more to this that the public doesn’t know.” 

In the wake of the Covenant school shooting in Nashville, many students believe that “there are so many larger issues,” and that bill S. 686 should not be a main priority for congress, “[Congress] is worried about the wrong national security in this social climate” said Abu, a first-year biology major, referring back to the recent school shooting. 

Want to see more HCFSU? Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube and Pinterest!

Dulce Ordonez is an English Creative Writing major at FSU, pursuing a double minor in Political Science and History. Currently she is an editor for Her Campus and a staff writer for FSView. She loves reading, writing, listening to music, and creating art. You can find more on her Instagram @d._.ordonez