Trump Tried to Ban TikTok, Now Cartels Are Using It to Recruit American Teens to Smuggle Migrants

Last year, then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with the blessing of then-President Donald Trump, led an effort to ban the popular social media app TikTok in the U.S., culminating in an Aug. 6 executive order aimed at accomplishing that very goal.

According to the Brookings Institution, the catalysts for the ban were concerns regarding data security and data privacy.

TikTok, which, at the time, boasted over 100 million users in the U.S. alone, was and is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. The company, founded in 2012, is known to act as a mouthpiece for Chinese Communist Party propaganda.

As such, the Trump administration was — rather reasonably — concerned that young Americans were unwittingly handing over their information to the CCP, which could then be used for nefarious purposes.

Pompeo even warned, according to CNN, that users should only download TikTok “if you want your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.”

Unfortunately, the previous administration’s efforts to uphold our national security did not survive in court. NPR reported in December that U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols halted the executive order, the second judge to do so.

In his order, Nichols wrote that the Trump administration had failed to “adequately consider an obvious and reasonable alternative before banning TikTok,” declared the order to be “arbitrary and capricious” and found that the order was a policy that would cause TikTok “irreparable harm.”