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Examining TikTok bans by North Carolina, other states

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Earlier this month, North Carolina joined several other states in banning the use of the social media app TikTok on state government phones and other devices. Governor Roy Cooper said it is a cybersecurity issue.

TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. Over the last several years, it has become one of the prominent social media apps in the United States. Especially among young people. Now, there is a fear the Chinese government could access user information through the app — an accusation the company has denied.

Still, data privacy concerns remain. According to Forbes, some ByteDance employees tracked multiple journalists covering the company. They gained access to IP addresses and other information in an effort to find the source of leaks. The company apologized for this breach of trust and blamed it on “the misconduct of a few individuals.”

On the next Charlotte Talks, Mike Collins and our panel of guests discuss the politics behind the push to ban TikTok, the validity behind the concerns, and the impact massive social media companies are having on our lives.

GUESTS:

Drew Harwell, Washington Post technology reporter

Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan, covers North Carolina state government and politics for the Raleigh News & Observer

Sara Morrison, Vox reporter who covers data privacy, antitrust, and big tech

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Gabe Altieri is a Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Prior to joining WFAE in 2022, he worked for WSKG Public Media in Binghamton, New York.