As the clock on government action for climate change ticks faster, President Trump seems to have ignored the call once again.
Instead, all of Trump’s energy is being focused on banning the infamous app TikTok, which is used for spreading videos consisting of millions of topics. According to CNN, the app is believed to be worth more than $50 billion, with its value increasing exponentially as it gains more and more traction daily. I can say for myself that I go on TikTok at least four times a day to check my For You page and see funny videos.
According to Forbes, the reason the Trump administration is so dead set on ridding the U.S. of TikTok is because of the security concerns surrounding TikTok being a Chinese-based company and the fear that they are selling users’ data. However, it is interesting that Facebook hasn’t been banned due to the plethora of security issues, breaches and other problems the company has faced in the last several years.
SearchSecurity details the track of Facebook’s 2018 scandals, starting with Facebook violating the privacy laws of Germany and Belgium. However, the first security issue Facebook faced that year was the Cambridge Analytica scandal. In March of 2018, The New York Times and other news sources gained access to several documents from Cambridge Analytica, a political analytics firm, that proved a former member of Trump’s aides used data from Facebook to build voter profiles.
They used an app from a third party to collect data from unknowing Facebook users. The app was downloaded by hundreds of thousands of people, and the access to it was severely misused. The improper data was passed to Cambridge Analytica, which in turn led to a disaster. Cambridge built political profiles on 50 million-plus users, which had the power to influence elections all over the world.
You can see how this crashed and burned for Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook. He was faced with a slew of investigations regarding Facebook’s sharing, privacy controls and practices. NPR reported Facebook also faced a lawsuit from Cook County, Illinois regarding Cambridge Analytics and Facebook violating the county’s fraud laws.
Facebook continues to have a bad reputation, as the company’s stock plummeted a whopping 119 billion in 2018. Trump never said anything about Facebook’s overwhelming security concerns and the selling of user data, so it would seem banning TikTok is just a simple power move.
The power of TikTok was underestimated when Trump's campaign faced Generation Z TikTokers, who reserved tickets for Trump’s Tulsa rally and subsequently didn’t attend. The event was meant to be at its full capacity of over 19,000, but it ended up hosting an embarrassing 6,200 people, according to CNN.
It is evident that Trump would rather focus media coverage on banning TikTok than the state of the nation right now and the inescapable ticking clock of climate change. In 2015, Trump criticized the Paris Agreement and wanted the U.S. to leave it because it would threaten “competition for the U.S.” More recently, Trump announced, by the end of this coming fall, the U.S. would actually exit the Paris climate accord. It is strikingly idiotic, not only as a country that emits so many global emissions but from a worldly standpoint, to be one of the only countries to leave this accord.
Trump should focus his time on “making America great again,” as his campaign so proudly announced it would four years ago. As the election rolls nearer, he continues to make himself the laughing stock of the world.
It is time to believe the hundreds of scientists around the world and set an example for other nations by saying we will not let climate change destroy this planet. NASA issued a grim statement in regards to the use of renewable resources and the changes many systems must make throughout the world to fight climate change.
“Because climate change is truly a global, complex problem with economic, social, political and moral ramifications, the solution will require both a globally-coordinated response (such as international policies and agreements between countries, a push to cleaner forms of energy) and local efforts on the city- and regional-level (for example, public transport upgrades, energy efficiency improvements, sustainable city planning, etc.).”
There are more things to worry about than an app like TikTok. TikTok has not only fueled movements, organized Gen Z and spread information about thousands of helpful topics, but it’s been a safe haven for people to have fun throughout this pandemic. If President Trump really cared about the security of American citizens, Facebook would’ve been banned a long time ago. Ticktock Trump, let’s use those efforts to become the great country we have the potential to be, and let’s rally for climate change.