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How TikTok Went from Teen Sensation to Political Pariah

The app has eaten the internet

In the seven years since TikTok was born as a niche lip-syncing app for Chinese teens, the platform has reshaped the media landscape — forcing U.S. tech giants to reckon with a foreign rival. The short-form video platform has amassed startling economic power, with more than a billion users and revenue expected to surpass YouTube's, at nearly $25 billion by 2025.

Critics argue that TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, makes the app a national security threat, potentially allowing it to share data about its American users or steer its algorithms at Beijing’s behest. This concern has spiraled into a slew of political action: A former president tried to ban the platform, and more than two dozen states have barred the app from government-owned devices — a panic that some describe as a threat to free speech in America.

The debate over TikTok is a stand-in for a host of political discontents. Here’s how TikTok went from a teen sensation to Washington’s boogeyman.

Please select this link to read the complete article from The Washington Post. 

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