• Amy Laskowski

    Senior Writer Twitter Profile

    Photo of Amy Laskowski. A white woman with long brown hair pulled into a half up, half down style and wearing a burgundy top, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Amy Laskowski is a senior writer at Boston University. She is always hunting for interesting, quirky stories around BU and helps manage and edit the work of BU Today’s interns. She did her undergrad at Syracuse University and earned a master’s in journalism at the College of Communication in 2015. Profile

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There are 7 comments on BU TikTok Creators, Students Sound Off on the App’s Possible Ban

  1. If even in the worst case, that somehow tiktok turns every phone in USA into a spycamera, I still do not see how this is functionally worse than every app, piece of technology, and website actively using data tracking and spyware to manipulate consumers into purchasing things. One, in a pure hypothetical, does not impact my day at all but the other routinely brings me a neverending stream of spam and noise.

    I do not think “Tiktok” is a weapon, but if it is, it is one that is only as effective as Americans are willing to make it be. Everyone who uses the app voluntarily downloads it and consumes media from it. I do not think short-form content has any real merit for education, but I also choose to not use the app.

    I think focusing on the “Creators” of the content on the app is overly generous to the types of content they create. 10-20 years ago, people would put high amounts of effort into relatively unknown pieces of content that would never be seen by more than 10,000 people. Now, being an “influencer” is apparently a profession and we need to hear their opinions on how difficult it will be to monetize their 5-30 second videos they filmed in their apartment. If your biggest issue with the ban is that you will have to move to another app, you probably won’t actually be effected and if you are, you have simply become a victim to Silicon-Valley venture capital mindset that was never sustainable to begin with.

    My distaste of the app aside, the ban itself is ludicrous. From the obvious political currents that are fueling its ban, the anti-china warhawking, and the irony that anyone who takes the mantle will almost definitely use the app to spy and track its users, political suicide of the incumbent party pissing off youth voters, etc. etc. it’s complete insanity and difficult to tell if those in favor of the ban are actually serious or have another motive. I don’t have to like the app or respect its creators to recognize that the internet should be free and open. The hypocrisy of those who say China is a despotic surveillance state with no freedom of speech while supporting a ban on a piece of software you install on a machine you own and paid real money for is maddening.

    1. I have the right to listen to CPP propaganda, don’t you think? Next, they will ban Tucker Carlson for being a Putin’s agent. And eventually they will come for each one of us. This has happened so many times in human history.

    2. “I do not think “Tiktok” is a weapon, but if it is, it is one that is only as effective as Americans are willing to make it be.”

      If you know you’re being hypnotized, does that mean it doesn’t have any effect?

      TikTok is not at all unique among social media platforms. I wouldn’t call them weapons (though you could make that argument) but they are potent tools. The algorithms that control the weighting and display of content reinforce particular themes, opinions and mindsets. They are not transparent and neutral information platforms. They do have an agenda.

      If that agenda is controlled by a geopolitical adversary of the US I don’t have an issue with forcing that relationship to be severed. However, I am equally concerned with the other social media platforms – just because they are owned by US companies, that does not mean they are beneficial or even innocuous. A TikTok under US ownership doesn’t suddenly become benign.

      Until these companies become more transparent, balanced and publicly responsible, they should all be under scrutiny.

  2. What do you mean by pro-china propoganda? In other words, what would that look like, and how would the U.S be affected by pro-china propoganda?

  3. Yes props to BU Today, a possible Tiktok ban at this particular moment has nothing to do with youth mobilizations in opposition to genocide I’m sure. No worries no need to mention that at all. It’s all about privacy concerns. Such a paragon of journalism.

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