On Monday, December 19th, state agencies in Louisiana and West Virginia became the most recent to prohibit the use of the popular social media application TikTok on government-owned devices due to concerns that China may use it against American interests.
ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., is now restricted on government computers in about 19 of the 50 States in the U.S. The majority of limitations have occurred during the previous two weeks. A substantial and rising proportion of US travel businesses are now prohibited from accessing the social networking site with 750 million members globally. To comply with their state executive directives, many state tourist organizations ceased their expanding engagement in the short-form video-sharing network TikTok. State tourist bureaus will transfer their TikTok resources to their other current social media platforms.
“We have other social media channels to reach out and reach out to travelers,” said Duane Parrish, South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Director. As a social media outlet, TikTok rated fourth in significance for South Carolina, after Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Multiple executive orders highlight FBI Director Christopher Wray’s concerns that TikTok posed a threat to national security and that the Chinese government may use the app to influence American users, spying on them, or control their devices.
Many travel marketing firms were adopting short-form vertical videos for marketing purposes. Tiktok had become the go-to platform for many travel and hotel businesses to advertise and promote their business. But since the future of TikTok in the United States is now uncertain, established social media platforms may prove to be a safer option.