No, The United States Has Not Banned TikTok

Social media posts falsely claim that the US government has banned TikTok in the country.

An image is being widely shared on social media stating that the United States has banned video app - TikTok and that India should also follow suit. This claim is false. The US government has not banned TikTok.

TikTok is a wildly popular social media app owned by ByteDance, a Beijing-based company. On the app, users can post videos of themselves singing, dancing, lip-syncing to popular songs and phrases or just simply talk. TikTok had close to 81 million active users from India in 2019 and is second only behind China in the total number of users according to a report in India Today. The app was also downloaded 740 million times across the world in 2019, a rise from 655 million downloads in 2018.

The misleading claim is being shared in many languages on social media. Some posts are also being shared along with a clip of US senator Josh Hawley speaking about the security risks TikTok poses to American citizens and its alleged closeness to the Chinese government.

BOOM received the message on its WhatsApp helpline requesting the verification of the same.

An image with a similar Hindi caption is also being shared.

The claim is viral on Facebook with a Hindi caption.

The claim is also viral on Twitter.

Fact Check

TikTok has not been banned in the United States. However, many branches of the US Federal Government have banned employees from using the app due to perceived security risks. These include all three branches of the military, the Marine Corps, the US Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration.

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US Senator Josh Hawley announced introducing new legislation seeking to ban all federal employees from using the app on all government devices. The legislation, however, does not seek to completely ban TikTok in America.

Even as its popularity has soared in India, TikTok has had its fair share of troubles. On April 3, 2019, the Madras High Court had banned new downloads of the app citing the spread of pornographic content on the app. The ban was lifted within a couple of weeks.

In July 2019, MPs Pinaki Mishra and Jayadev Gall called for a ban on the app stating that TikTok allegedly shared user data with the Chinese government and that it spreads "fake news" in India. Shashi Tharoor also claimed that the app illegally collected data from users and shared it with the Chinese government.

BOOM reached out to TikTok for a comment. The article will be updated upon receiving a response.

Updated On: 2020-04-28T17:38:05+05:30
Claim :   TikTok has been banned in the United States of America.
Claimed By :  Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp
Fact Check :  False
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