Ars Frontiers kicked off Monday with a panel called “TikTok—Banned or Not, It’s Probably Here to Stay,” featuring experts on TikTok, data privacy, and cybersecurity.
It just so happened that the week before Ars Frontiers, TikTok was banned in Montana. This made the panel discussion particularly timely, as some TikTok creators and TikTok promptly sued the state, hoping to ensure that all Americans maintain access to the China-owned app—despite lawmakers’ national security concerns that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) might use TikTok to access US user data.
An associate professor in the communication media and learning technologies design program at Teachers College, Columbia University, Ioana Literat monitors how young people use social media. She has been researching TikTok since it first became available in the US. Banning TikTok at the “apex of its popularity,” Literat said, would set “a huge cultural and political precedent” for TikTok’s young user base, which is so politically active on the app.