The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Students React To Potential TikTok Ban

Amber More

Alum Dylan Gold (‘23) posts just about every day to his TikTok, where he has garnered over 133,000 followers. Fitness posts constitute a majority of Gold’s content, including his most viral videos that have millions of views, and he monetizes this fame through brand deals with apparel and supplement companies.

Nearly 5 million American companies, many of them small businesses, use TikTok to promote their items, and around 100 million more engage with the platform for entertainment.

However, in March, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act. If passed in the Senate and signed by President Biden, this bill would ban TikTok in the U.S. unless its Chinese owner ByteDance divested from the company.

The U.S. government claims the personal information of American citizens that ByteDance has collected could end up in the hands of the Chinese government.

A 2023 Pew Research poll revealed that 38% of American adults support a TikTok ban, while 27% oppose it, the rest being unsure. Despite the alleged security threat, most teenage users of TikTok oppose a ban. That survey found that teens — users and nonusers — who oppose a ban outnumber those who support it by 2.75 to one.

Gold is no exception. “I don’t think TikTok should be banned for a variety of reasons,” the first-year at Southern Methodist University wrote in correspondence with The Coat of Arms. Gold cited TikTok’s importance to small businesses and the communities TikTok has created around people who share common interests and lifestyles. “[TikTok] is a place where more than 170 million people in the U.S. go for information, support, and entertainment,” he wrote.

Sophomore Ava Wang posts videos on TikTok and says that it provides a way for teenagers to share what they’re doing in their lives. She also watches videos and finds the platform entertaining. Wang said she doesn’t want TikTok to be banned, but she would understand the decision if there were legitimate security reasons. “I don’t oppose it, but I need to also understand […] why there would be a ban,” Wang said.

Junior James Wernikoff posted a viral TikTok video in 2023 that received over 2 million views, and after not posting for over 7 months, released a video in April 2024 that garnered 1.5 million views. “I don’t really care [about the ban] honestly; I think [the ban] would be good because a lot of people are way too addicted,” Wernikoff said. “I spend too much time on [TikTok].”

This is not the first time that governments have tried to limit access to TikTok. Many countries, such as India, Nepal and Iran, have completely banned the app. Others — such as the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Australia — have prohibited the app from being installed on government devices.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Jacob Reich
Jacob Reich, Online Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 3

Favorite aspect of journalism: My favorite aspect of being on the Coat of Arms staff is the opportunity to conduct interviews where I get to meet and learn about new people.

Interests outside of school: I enjoy sports, games (board & video), and politics.

Class of 2025

Amber More
Amber More, Creative Director

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 1

Favorite aspect of journalism: watching everything come together from the first draft to print

Interests outside of school: rock climbing, Pop Culture, and Formula 1

Class of 2025

Comments (0)

The Coat of Arms encourages dialogue with our audience. We welcome constructive comments that avoid slander, hate, profanity and misinformation. In an effort to give voice to a variety of perspectives, anonymous comments will be considered, but signed comments are preferred. If you would like to submit an anonymous comment, please write "Anonymous" in the "Name" field below. While a valid email address is required, The Coat of Arms will not publish your email address. The Editorial Board will review comments and decide whether they will be put online; the editors reserve the right to edit for concision.
All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *