U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he has decided to ban TikTok. The social media app, which is particularly popular with young users thanks to its bite-sized videos that often feature dances or short skits, has been a source of controversy both in the United States and throughout the world due to its alleged ties to the Chinese government.
According to CBS News, the president made the announcement to reporters aboard Air Force One while en route from Florida to Washington, D.C.
“We’re banning them from the United States,” he said.
Though Trump did not give many more details on the decision, he added that he was hoping to sign something to enforce the new directive as soon as Saturday.
The decision comes just hours after reports had suggested that Microsoft would purchase a stake in TikTok’s parent company ByteDance to protect the American-based parts of the platform, as was recently reported by The Inquisitr.
However, it appears that Trump has decided to reject the arrangement and called his new decision “severance.”
That said, some experts have questioned how he would enact the ban on the social media company — or if he even had the authority.
TikTok has been in the crosshairs of the president for several months, and his reelection committee had even reportedly planned a campaign against the app after reports suggested that TikTok users had used the platform to sabotage a rally in Tulsa.
However, the move may be more than just personal. Several tech experts have expressed serious concerns about TikTok, and it is currently banned for all U.S. service members in both the Army and the Navy.
In addition, hacking group Anonymous has warned users to “delete” the app immediately, calling it a tool of the Chinese regime.
“Delete TikTok now,” the group warned in a July 1 tweet.
“If you know someone that is using it, explain to them that it is essentially malware operated by the Chinese government running a massive spying operation,” the message concluded.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also previously stated that U.S. officials were looking into prohibiting TikTok due to genuine security concerns.
The United States is not alone in its misgivings about TikTok. Australia is also reportedly mulling a ban on the platform.
In addition, TikTok has been completely prohibited in India. The moratorium came after the nation suffered a number of casualties following a deadly clash with China along one of their disputed border regions, as was previously covered by The Inquisitr.