As a 17-year-old, I’m still developing my political identity, and I’ve found TikTok to be incredibly helpful in aiding that development.
I was scrolling down my For You page earlier this year when I found a TikTok about the origins of the police as runaway slave catchers. For the first time, I understood why people say policing is a system that can’t be reformed. From there, I only became more educated the longer I scrolled.
But the potential TikTok ban is bigger than just me and my self-education —it would mean shutting down an essential source of information for many youth.
It’s no coincidence the president wants to ban the app, especially after the ego-bruising TikTok-organized boycott of his rally in Tulsa. Meeting places for young people have always served as the spark for social movements. The idea of politically mobile young people is threatening not only to him but any fascist-leaning institution.
While I’m sure another app will pop up to replace TikTok in the event of the ban, it still makes me nervous to think that our administration could ban a social network that has been so integral to my political identity.