BANGOR- From fun dances to unique challenges, there’s something for everyone on Tik Tok.
Olympic athletes to local Mainers are users of the app.
People can create short videos to share with their followers.
“It’s really nice to have a voice when you kind of felt like you don’t have one all the time, especially in Maine where it’s hard to put yourself out there and regions around you,” said Ethan Levesque, a local Tik Tok user with more than 46,000 followers.
The app is owned by a China-based company.
U.S. intelligence officials warn it could pose a security risk to citizens.
“In the case of Tik Tok, it’s a company that collects selected info,” said Professor Jon Ippolito, who teaches New Media at the University of Maine. “What videos you create, what videos you’ve looked at, age and location, if you share them. It’s not clear to me how the Chinese government would use that information to nefarious ends.”
Ippolito said this type of data collection is common and typically used for marketing purposes.
Since Tik Tok is owned by a Chinese company, President Trump is looking to ban the app.
It’s currently the most downloaded app, according to Ippolito.
“People my age, we lost Vine four years ago, we finally got this video app back and we felt really good about it, so to have it taken away is a real bummer,” Levesque said.
Whether you’re dancing along, or just talking to yourself, don’t forget about risks the app poses.
“Rather than banning specific apps, you can say I‘m not going to give them my actual name and my actual location, Ippolito explained. “I’m going to give them a throw away email. I’m going to use it without logging in. That’s a strategy I would use for anyone concerned about their personal data.”
There are rumors Microsoft is looking to purchase the app, but for now its future is uncertain.