The uncertainty around TikTok’s fate in the United States has propelled the Chinese platform to the top of Twitter trends.
Gen Z’s lip-sync app of choice is under threat of going dark for its 80 million users in the United States, or a tenth of its global audience.
Donald Trump has said he would sign an executive order on Saturday to ban TikTok in the country. Lawmakers have long called out the app for its privacy practices and potential ties to the Chinese government, a charge its owners deny.
Whether the threat will actually materialise remains to be seen. There have been reports that TikTok’s parent company Bytedance has agreed to forgo its stake in the app and sell it to Microsoft.
Whatever happens next, the news has made quite a splash on social media, where reactions vary from indignation to relief.
Here are some of the hottest (but not necessarily smartest) memes and takes.
"Dad can they actually ban TikTok??" pic.twitter.com/ppTtfa98BO— Cryptic (@CrypticNoOne) August 1, 2020
"We're going to ban TikTok because the Chinese goverment is spying on you"— Lazik (@L4ziik) August 1, 2020
Microsoft, Google, Facebook: pic.twitter.com/xnQ4AJVPtT
Trump’s desire to ban TikTok shows he’s more concerned about the spread of Sarah Cooper videos than he is about the spread of the coronavirus.— The Daily Edge (@TheDailyEdge) August 1, 2020
Trump is DEATHLY AFRAID people are going to vote. Young people might vote? Ban tiktok. People might vote absentee? Kneecap the post office. People might crawl over broken glass to vote no matter what? Delay the election.— David Pakman (@dpakman) August 1, 2020
I’m old enough to remember when republicans were theoretically for free markets and not going to ban TikTok.— Molly Jong-Fast🏡 (@MollyJongFast) August 1, 2020
Jason Derulo convincing Trump not to ban TikTok pic.twitter.com/2G5Ov6EWxv— Saint Hoax (@SaintHoax) August 1, 2020
I love TikTok. I’m not sure if Trump is serious. But Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all blocked in China so there is plenty of precedent for restricting apps based on data or economic concerns. I also think there will be a US-based TikTok-type service one way or another.— Andrew Yang🧢🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) August 1, 2020
Can we maybe ban assault rifles before banning TikTok?— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) August 1, 2020