Possible TikTok ban threatens a generation


Photo used with permission from Luke Valerio.

Sophomore Luke Valerio shares a sound from his childhood with his 17,400 followers in his viral TikTok.

Katie Barnett, Reporter

Usage of the social media app TikTok had exploded since its release in 2016, especially among Generation Z. The app gives creators a platform to sell products, create memes, bring awareness to certain causes and more. 

Some viewers and content creators were shocked to see President Trump’s announcement of a proposed ban on the app earlier this summer. His administration cited national security concerns posed by TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance. Creators on the app rushed to transition their fanbase to other social media platforms in tearful videos, and viewers expressed their support in the comments.

The ban had a significant impact for some members of the FHS community. Sophomore Luke Valerio is a content creator with over 17,400 followers. The app means more to him than a way to pass the time.

“I used to be a really awkward kid,” Valerio said. “But now, if I go downtown, maybe three people will come up to me and ask if I make the videos on TikTok. I try to have a conversation with them, and all the conversations have made me way less awkward.”

Valerio’s character development on TikTok made the news of the ban even more challenging for him to hear. He took action to communicate with his followers immediately.

“I heard the news and thought it was going to be banned instantly,” Valerio said. “I went live, and I never go live. I just talked about how TikTok helped me so my followers could hear what I had to say,”

Viewers like senior Hanna Hussain who watched their favorite creators say goodbye have strong opinions about the ban.

“TikTok is responsible for teaching so many things that school doesn’t teach us. It’s really good for spreading awareness,” Hussain said. “TikTok is so unique in what you’re able to do on it, so creators having to move their content somewhere else would be really difficult.”

TikTok users are currently waiting for the final decision about the ban. United States tech company Microsoft expressed interest in purchasing the app, but the deal was instead made with Oracle Corp.