TikTok — The pros, the cons, and should it be banned?

by Debbie Casini Klein, Director, I Want to be an Ambassador! camp

The United States is the country with the most monthly active TikTok users –more than 100 million, with teenagers making up the largest group.  It has more Gen Z users than Instagram, with 57% of them female. With TikTok’s  meteoric rise in popularity since its launch in 2016,  why are governments, including ours, now considering a ban on TikTok? Let’s look at the pros and cons of TikTok… 

Starting with the pros.

Without overstating the obvious, it is entertainment.  TikTok offers a wide range of content, from funny skits to informative tutorials to dance challenges. The list is endless. It is a creative outlet where users can express their creativity in many forms — short videos, music, effects, which can form a vibrant creative community. Being a global platform, it allows users to connect with people from all over the world, promoting cultural exchanges and diverse perspectives. Content on TikTok has potential to go viral, allowing users to gain exposure and build a following relatively quickly.  And it’s free!  It is available on both iOS and Android devices, making it accessible to a large audience.

Now the cons. 

It is time consuming.  The addictive nature of TikTok can lead to excessive usage, potentially causing users to spend more time than intended on the app. Also, the constant stream of content on TikTok can be distracting, especially for students or individuals trying to focus on work or other responsibilities. While TikTok has community guidelines in place, some users may encounter inappropriate or harmful content, including bullying, misinformation, and sometimes even hateful dialogue. And the biggest concern why governments, including ours, are considering a ban are very serious privacy issues.

Is there cause for a ban?

TikTok has faced scrutiny over data privacy issues and its ties to the Chinese government, leading to concerns about the security of user data as a national security risk. Some policymakers and officials worry that TikTok could be exploited by the Chinese government for espionage or influence operations. Due to its ownership by the Chinese company ByteDance, there are concerns that user data could be accessed and manipulated for political purposes. However others argue that there is no concrete evidence of such misuse and that similar concerns exist with other social media platforms,.  Ultimately, the extent of the threat is subject to ongoing debate and scrutiny.

Overall, whether TikTok is a positive or negative experience depends on individual usage habits, preferences, and awareness of privacy and security concerns. It is essential to approach TikTok with caution, and be mindful of one’s usage.


Debbi Casini Klein was the executive producer for the award-winning TV talk-show “Pittsburgh’s Talking.” She has written and produced television shows on the local and national level and has won many Emmy awards for her work. Deb’s commitment to community service continues in her newly elected role as a member of the Churchill Borough Council. She and her husband were married in the Fiji islands followed by a 3-month trip around the world, inspiring her passion for world culture and diplomacy. The experience prompted her to add freelance travel agent to her repertoire for many years. As a lover of food and a variety of cuisines, Deb helped create and lead several food tours in and around Pittsburgh. Deb loves working with students of all ages and is a mom to two children.