4 things you need to know about the Tik Tok ban

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Earlier this week, United States President Donald Trump announced that he wanted to “ban” the popular social media app “Tik Tok” based on personal data privacy issues. We break down this potential ban to understand it better.

1. There is doubt regarding Donald J. Trump’s reasons behind this possible ban
Officially, the US government has said that its concern is that China is collecting information about American Tik Tok users.
But, last month, Donald J Trump’s Oklahoma and Tulsa rallies were ruined by TikTokers who bought most of the tickets but did not show up. Could this TikTok ban be a way for Trump to prevent this to happen again and affect his campaign? This is the theory that has been circulating on TikTok.

2. Donald J. Trump wants an American company to buy the app
On Monday August 3rd, U.S President Donald J Trump has said that he will ban this app in the United States on September 15 if two conditions aren’t met. First, an American company must buy it, and secondly, the company must give the U.S Treasury a percentage of the sales price. “The United States should get a very large percentage of that price because we’re making it possible,” he said.

3. Asking for a “percentage of that price” is unconventional
Donald J Trump requesting that the government acquires a “very large percentage of that price” is unethical and unorthodox. According to Nicholas Klein, a lawyer at DLA Piper, the government does not have the authority to take a cut of a private deal via the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S (the committee that is in charge of reviewing U.S foreign investments). It is certainly unconventional for a president to request a cut of a private deal on the pretext that they made it happen.

4. Trump would most likely be unable to actually ban the app
Although the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has strong evidence against TikTok, the U.S Government would probably not be able to legally ban this app in the U.S. According to James Lewis, the director of technology policy at the Center for strategic and international studies, the government is legally able to sanction an app if there have been cases of trade violations, espionage, intellectual property theft or proliferation, which is not the case with the TikTok. Indeed, if the Trump administration ordered a ban on this company, it would get contested in court.

In short, this TikTok ban is believed to have other reasons than the ones given by the government, an actual ban is highly unlikely, and the Trump administration’s requests are unconventional.

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