In just one year, TikTok, a Chinese-owned company, has turned to be a Gen-Z favorite—a favorite mobile spot to "goof off," not to mention, being a subject of politicians' skepticism through the TikTok controversy. Indeed, TitkTok has only existed across the United States since August last year. However, it has already become one of the most-defining social media apps of Gen Z.
Previously called Musical.ly, TikTok was brought in 2017 by ByteDance, a company based in Beijing. Even though it re-launched as virtually similar to Musical.ly, TikTok has quickly turned into what vox.com describes as "something more like Vine: a goofy place for weird memes, iconic inside jokes, and comedy." And, in doing so, the mobile app has created popular tons of fledgling dancers, singers, comedians, actors, and normal teenage girls and boys. Indeed, one who is considered a "TikTok famous" is now a famous objective for most high school students.
The TikTok Controversy
The multitudes of underage TikTok users, certainly, "have landed the company in hot water" on different occasions. Early this year, the company was hit by a "record-breaking %5. Million FTC fine" for unlawfully collecting information for children below 13 years old. Another reason for the increased TikTok controversy is it being based in Beijing. In relation to this, this fast-becoming famous social media app has been accused of controlling the censorship of pro-Hong Kong video footage.
Another TokTok controversy is that the company was found to have banned LGBTQ content in specific countries like Turkey, for one. Indeed, the popular social media application is currently facing an investigation conducted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., with a primary objective of determining if the app is posing a threat to the Americans.
Jokey Platform with Serious Subjects
For those who haven't tried the app, TikTok is a video-sharing mobile app that allows the users to create and share 15- to 60-second clips set to sound bites or music. Most of this App's users are reportedly aged below 30 years old. Unlike Instagram and Snapchat, one will see on the main feed of TikTok content from people he doesn't know, as well as from his family and friends. This means that this social media app has a possibly huge platform, otherwise called clout.
As to how it has been since its launch, TikTok has not always been without controversy. As mentioned, it has recently been accused of repressing content which the government of China doesn't like, and this includes the protests in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, the company denies the issue telling TikTok is not removing content sourced from sensitivities that are related to China.
Despite the controversy, the app is still considered something that makes the day of Gen Z. Go to the TikTok app and discover the latest dance craze, lip-syncing videos, and memes. And, even though it might not appear like the most obvious platform to try to bring out social change, a number of people still say the app's lighthearted nature lets them be activists sans completely feeling the heaviness and burden of activism.