Since experiencing its meteoric  rise in 2020, many countries have looked skeptically upon TikTok’s Chinese origins, its unstable censorship and content moderation policies, and its propensity for inappropriate content. In fact, the US came very close to banning the social media company outright in August 2020, but its parent company ByteDance avoided the ban by divesting  the company.
Now, under a new presidential administration and Congress, the US is again looking to punish TikTok’s influence. An omnibus  spending bill passed recently by Congress included a prohibition of TikTok on government-issued devices. Several states have passed similar bans, and lawmakers have introduced a bill that would ban the app entirely, citing severe national security concerns. Elsewhere, Jordan has restricted TikTok after a period of violent civil unrest , a move similar to one India made in 2020, and Australia has also considered removing the app from its sphere.
A common accusation against TikTok has been that it shared user data with the Chinese government, which could use the data to influence users or control their electronic devices. A recent study has even shown that TikTok may push harmful and sensitive information to teenagers within minutes after making a new account.
Currently, the evidence is scant  that ByteDance presents a national security threat. Many of the concerns that it is sending user data to the Chinese Communist Party are based on theories and the fact that the company once pushed sympathetic content about the Chinese government on another app. While ByteDance claims that all of its US-based traffic is routed through US-based technology company Oracle, this has done little to reduce worries.
The chances that the US completely bans TikTok are slim, according to experts. However, its newest ban on government devices, and the fact that TikTok is under scrutiny by other countries, is a significant development in the social media’s lifetime. These updates, along with the fact that privacy experts are still determining its potential connection to national security, mean that the future of TikTok is somewhat insecure.