Opinion: TikTok is a national security threat and weapon of social destruction

TikTok app on a Smartphone / Getty Images

TikTok is a weapon of social destruction. Created by ByteDance, a Bejing-based company, TikTok is a platform of the Chinese Communist Party and a national security threat to America. Unlike what TikTok developers and the Chinese Communist Party would like users to believe, the social media application is not designed merely for virtual connection and entertainment.

TikTok stores user data, including speech and movements, and creates a digital footprint for each user. TikTok archives this information, which can then be used to develop harmful national and personal security risks such as, but not limited to, the creation of deep fakes. Deep fakes manipulate words and movements, mirroring an individual's speech patterns and gestures. TikTok developers can craft propaganda and other misrepresentations of an individual through the application's stored archives of each user.

Montana recently set America's national precedent with the statewide ban on TikTok. While Gov. Greg Gianforte's decision is being called controversial, the governor made the right decision. More states should follow Montana's direction and ban using TikTok to protect citizens', especially minors', personal information and data.

One of the roles of a democratic government is to protect its citizens from national security threats and vulnerabilities. Elected officials are responsible for legislating policy decisions to ensure citizens' safety. In addition to creating a national security risk, TikTok is a gross overreach of the Chinese Communist Party and a daily violation of millions of Americans' personal data. On the state and/or federal level, government bans on TikTok are saying "no" to a weapon of social destruction.

America is a nation that fosters innovation and creativity that exists in the marketplace. Policymakers should ensure the United States remains a nation that says "yes" to safe social media applications that do not weaponize a user's information.

While innocent users of the TikTok application may be disappointed in adjusting platforms to virtually and socially connect, a unified national ban of TikTok would create a pathway for American innovation in creating safe social media applications that protect the user and the United States. New, American-based companies and social media developers should rise to this occasion to draw users to their platforms in response to an increased ban on TikTok.

Leaders and champions of a strong national defense must be prepared for the backlash of banning TikTok. The application is just one piece of the Chinese Communist Party's long-term strategy, and a rising China will not simply give up data collection of Americans. If national or state leadership does not enforce bans on TikTok, adults should foster conversations with minors to educate them about the importance of disregarding the use of and deleting TikTok from devices.

The NextGeneration movement is a critical voice in garnering the attention of state and federal leadership in supporting the ban of TikTok. For example, the Athenai Institute is a bipartisan organization present on campuses across the nation and is providing students a platform for standing up against the Chinese Communist Party's influence.

Banning the use of TikTok is one way for Americans to empower and protect themselves and their families from an adversarial China that is intent and determined to surpass our national interests. Strong leadership, as demonstrated with Montana's ban, requires a steadfastness of decision-making that will protect the nation, absent of individuals' determination to protect themselves.

TikTok is a weapon of social destruction designed to create much harm and is a highly advantageous platform for the Chinese Communist Party. The question is, whose likeness will TikTok mirror to cause destruction and whose child will become a propaganda piece of the Chinese Communist Party? The future of America's national security and our children are being placed in the archives of our enemy. Banning the use of TikTok cuts off access for the Chinese Communist Party to harm our citizens and the country.

Brooke Taylor, who serves on the board of directors for the Athenai Institute, is a distinguished faculty for Missouri State University's Defense and Strategic Studies Program. She wrote this for InsideSources.com.

Tribune Content Agency