Friday’s biggest headline was Donald Trump’s decision to ban Americans from using TikTok. Although it is likely that a non-Chinese investor will buy out the US operation from its Chinese owners, people are not taking the news lightly.
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.
“We’re going to ban TikTok because the Chinese goverment is spying on you”
Microsoft, Google, Facebook: pic.twitter.com/xnQ4AJVPtT
— Lazik (@L4ziik) August 1, 2020
All of Gen Z at the White House when trump bans tiktok #tiktokban pic.twitter.com/EnKdxWFloz
— isabella (@Izzzzyyy10) August 1, 2020
Gen z on their way to the White House when they find out trump is banning #TikTok #tiktokban pic.twitter.com/F7zPAaBSiq
— ☁️ delicate ☁️ (@byebyeloverr) August 1, 2020
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
Millennials explaining to Gen Z kids that Tik Tok now has to go to the great social media farm in the sky with MySpace/Xanga/AIM/Vine #TikTokBanpic.twitter.com/TqIhaWNwNq
— Flex Luthor (@SirRantAndRave) August 1, 2020
Americans changing their vpn when tiktok gets banned #tiktokban : pic.twitter.com/hWeaLCj35y
— 🧍♀️ (@h03smaddddd) August 1, 2020
TikTok influencers pulling up at McDonalds for job interviews after the ban #tiktokban #RIPtiktok pic.twitter.com/pssVP4xj78
— KØDEX (@MoreKODEX) August 1, 2020
Trump: TikTok is being banned.
Apple Store (1 week later):#tiktokban pic.twitter.com/RKW25bpG9B
— adil the kota (@adil_kota) 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