TIKTOK stars have hit out against the United States plan to ban the video-sharing app and other Chinese apps amid concerns they pose a national security threat.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed that the White House is taking claims that data from TikTok is being shared with authorities in Beijing "very seriously" and wants to take action.
Why do people think Trump wants to ban TikTok?
Fears of TikTok being banned by President Donald Trump came after other countries called for a ban on the addictive phone app.
"With respect to Chinese apps on people's cell phones, I can assure you the United States will get this one right," Pompeo said during an interview on Fox News, when he was asked about a possible US ban.
"I don't want to get out in front of the president, but it's something we're looking at."
Pompeo explained that Americans should only use the app if they want their "private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party."
TikTok has been accused of "spying" on Apple users.
Reports of snooping began after a new beta iOS 14 feature was created to notify users whenever an app tries to access their clipboard.
Researchers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk found claimed to find 56 apps accessing data from clipboards for no apparent reason.
What other countries have banned TikTok?
In June 2020, the Indian government banned 59 Chinese phone apps, including TikTok.
The indian government said that data collected from users was being used illegally and was a threat to national security.
India previously implemented a ban, which was later lifted, after a TikTok user accidentally slit his throat in Chennai and a 19-year-old teen was allegedly shot dead by a friend in Delhi after posing with a pistol.
There are calls for a similar move in Australia after a series of cyber attacks on public bodies in the country were linked to the Chinese state.
In July 2018, TikTok was banned in Indonesia, after the Indonesian government accused it of promoting "pornography, inappropriate content and blasphemy."
In January 2019, TikTok was banned by the US army as scrutiny over the platform’s relationship with China, where the app was initiated.
Who founded TikTok?
TikTok, one of the world's most downloaded phone app, was founded by the entrepreneur Zhang Yiming and is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance.
The Chinese video and music-based social media app allows users to create and share video clips with music and camera effects.
he $75 billion conglomerate acquired the Musical.ly app in 2017 and merged it with TikTok, bringing millions of new users.
In response to TikTok's rising popularity, Facebook launched a competitor app called Lasso in November last year.
TikTok is filled with videos of people lip-syncing and dancing to popular music, however, funny, scary, and informative footage is also shared via the app as well.
The app has also been called "a magnet for pedophiles" after a TikTok reportedly failed to remove online predators who were sending sexual messages to teenagers and children.
Despite security fears, TikTok is not available in China and denies sharing data with Beijing.
The app has sought to distance itself from its Chinese roots to appeal to a global audience.
What other social media apps does Trump allegedly want to ban?
On May 27 Trump threatened to "close down" social media outlets which serve as a platform for millions around the world as he claims they are "silencing conservative voices."
Later in the day, the president, while locked in his growing feud with the social media giant teased: "Big action to follow!"
Trump's White House twitter manager had condemned Twitter for flagging the President for inciting violence in the midst of George Floyd protests.
Twitter flagged Trump's "When the looting starts, the shooting starts" tweet, saying: "We've taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts."
The White House has been having a Twitter feud with the social media platform since it flagged one of the President's coronavirus-conspiracy tweets, telling people to "get the facts."
Trump was angry that his content was being "editorialized" – calling it "tantamount to taking over the airwaves" and a threat to free speech.
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