TikTok addicts (like myself), as well as most smartphone-addicted teenagers, are nervously awaiting the fate of the beloved short-form video app. For the last several weeks, rumors of a TikTok shutdown have been flying, as apparently, the app may serve as a cybersecurity threat. In fact, it's already been banned from the U.S. Army. It's also been deemed a safety hazard, as its user-base apparently is not closely monitored.
Needless to say, the social media platform's user-base can't help but wonder: is TikTok turning back into Musical.ly? Will the app be shutting down entirely? Nothing is confirmed as of right now, but this is everything we know so far.
First, a little background: TikTok was once Musical.ly, and it transformed into TikTok.
Musical.ly was a short-form video social media app that basically killed Vine, per Vice. It was founded in 2014, and predominantly targeted teens as a lip-syncing app. Four years later, Musical.ly was acquired by TikTok, a direct competitor. Rather than a shutdown, it was more of a "rebrand," as TikTok absorbed the app and user-base, while ditching the name and logo.
But it wasn't smooth sailing from there — almost two years ago, back in October 2018, it was rumored that TikTok would be shutting down for good. However, the app immediately took to Twitter to debunk the false claims, deeming it "fake news." The app's fanbase was relieved, but little did they know, this wouldn't be the first shutdown scare for TikTok.
The app has experienced major cybersecurity issues in recent months.
Like I said, TikTok is undergoing a major security investigation, as the government believes the app could be posing a major cybersecurity threat. According to Reuters, National Security Experts worry about how TikTok might be collecting and handling user data, from content, to communications, IP addresses, location-related data, and metadata.
The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate, Chuck Schumer, expressed serious concern regarding Chinese laws, which apparently require local companies “to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.” The app is based in China, which is why this poses a possible threat to U.S. security. Thus, the U.S. Army has ultimately banned the app entirely.
TikTok has also been labeled "a breeding ground for abusers."
Parents also worry about the security of the app, in regards to internet safety — according to EndSexualExplotation.org, video-streaming apps like TikTok pose a major threat for its young user-base. Many worry about its lax moderation and lack of safety controls, which make it easy for abusers, predators, and possible sex traffickers to contact minors.
The app is apparently being added to the "2020 Dirty Dozen List," so unless the app can enhance its monitoring capabilities, it seems as though the label might stick. This is yet another reason TikTok fans worry the app might not be around for much longer — the "Dirty Dozen" label has certainly tainted the app's name.
Is TikTok turning back into Musical.ly after all this bad press?
So, will TikTok go back to its original Musical.ly label, will it shut down entirely this year, or will it simply fix these major issues? The fate of TikTok isn't looking good, people, but only time will tell.