DMT Beauty Transformation: Why Trump Is REALLY Trying To Ban TikTok
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Why Trump Is REALLY Trying To Ban TikTok

August 03, 2020DMT Beauty

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President Donald Trump has remained steadfast in his plan of allegedly banning TikTok in the United States since announcing the odd decision on July 31. Trump first announced his intention on axing access to the popular social media app to reporters while abroad Air Force One and has since seemed to stick by it; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has confirmed that he and Trump have been continuously discussing how to get rid of it, and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has stated that the timeline for TikTok’s ban will come in “weeks, not months.” Even so, there may be hope to save the app best known for creating popular dances to Top 10 hit songs and educating Gen Z users on current politics: Microsoft has been in talks with ByteDance, TikTok’s China-based owner, to acquire the app and keep it available to U.S.-based users. “Savage Challenge” dancers, rejoice!

But, as with every silver lining, TikTok enthusiasts shouldn’t get their hopes up about keeping the app available in the U.S. just yet: Trump is reportedly only giving Microsoft 45 days to finalize acquisition talks with ByteDance for TikTok, according to Reuters. Even then, there’s no guarantee that he won’t turn around and ban the app anyway.

Trump’s sudden laser focus on banning TikTok isn’t out of the realm of the behavior the U.S. has come to know of him over the last four years; he loves to latch onto things that don’t cause harm – things that either bring joy or deal with people’s livelihoods – and make them the enemy. We know that Trump is the definition of petty and he loves to stir up controversy, drama and stress for his own reasons, which leads to the bigger question: why is he really trying to ban TikTok?

Let’s deep-dive into this mystery.

Tensions between the U.S. and China

U.S.-China tensions could very well be a driving force behind his sudden decision to put TikTok on the App store chopping block. China remains high on Trump’s running list of things and places he hates and has been vocal about; for one, an ongoing trade war between the two countries has led to an increase in tariffs on Chinese imported goods more than once. Trump has also continued to be blatantly racist when placing the blame of the coronavirus on China, like when he calls it the “kung-flu.” He’s also come right out and stated linked his proposed TikTok banning as a sort of revenge against China, telling commentator Greta Van Susteren during a recent interview that “It’s something we’re looking at, yes. It’s a big business. Look, what happened with China with this virus, what they’ve done to this country and to the entire world is disgraceful.”

TikTok teens and K-pop stans tanking his Tulsa rally

Could Trump actually still be mad over TikTok’s role in his now-famously sparsely attended June rally in Tulsa, Ok.? The commander-in-chief and his administration bragged about how many seats they would fill during the first rally of his 2020 campaign – originally planned for Juneteenth – on June 20, only to be met with a near-empty stadium on the day of the event. The mastermind culprits behind those empty seats? Teens using TikTok and K-pop stans, who got to work on the app spread the word for their peers to register for free tickets en masse for the Tusla rally, and then not show up. The Trump administration has stood their ground that they were able to confirm that TikTok teens did not play a role in the rally’s low turnout, but we know better. Trump’s ban on TikTok could be, what else, his form of revenge on those who “wronged” him and made him look foolish.

Getting young people to vote in November

Since Trump announced his plan to ban TikTok, one theory as to why has been growing in popularity: the ban may be the key to getting young people to vote in November’s presidential election. Though TikTok is used by people across all age ranges, it’s known for being an app popular among Gen Z. Many of those Gen Z users will be able to vote for the first time in this fall, and should TikTok be banned, we may see a surge of them responding to that ban at the polls. Overall, voting among young people, despite massive pushes on social media and from celebrities, is down compared to 2016, according to the Harvard Institute of Politics. While it’s still speculation, never say never on the TikTok ban being the push young voters need to make their voices heard this fall.

TikTok isn’t perfect, and so many politicians other than Donald Trump know it; last month, former Vice President and Democratice presidential nominee Joe Biden banned the app from the staffers’ work phones over data privacy concerns, and Sen. Marco Rubio called for the U.S. government to investigate TikTok over censorship concerns back in October 2019. But only time will tell why Trump has decided now was the time to dive head first into banning this particular app from the U.S.

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Asia Ewart, Khareem Sudlow

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