Why Experts Say We Should Ban TikTok

TikTok was banned from Australian government devices last year, and many experts say it should be banned full-stop – but why does TikTok pose such a threat on national security? 

More than seven million Australians log on to the app every month and the numbers continue to grow, however there’s concerns over the platform’s owner,  ByteDance who has close ties to the Chinese government. 


On Defending Democracy with Malcolm Turnbull, Malcolm Turnbull is joined by Justin Bassey, the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute to dissect exactly what the threats are. 

Justin details data privacy risk – the platform’s ability to access its users’ personal information, and content manipulation as two major threats, particularly from an Australian perspective. 

Malcolm questions if these factors – along with the fact the platform is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party – is a “powerful argument” for TikTok to be banned. 

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“I think the privacy and content manipulation risks combined with the close ties between ByteDance and the Chinese government means that the ban on government devices is the bare minimum,” Justin said. 

“And so, I am very supportive of those decisions, although perhaps we could have made them more quickly.  

“But there is in terms of the reality check… in Australia, there’s seven million users. I think in the US, there’s a hundred million users, so it is always harder. It’s easier if you’re India and you prohibit or ban before the platform had make such a mark.” 

Defending Democracy with Malcom Turnbull provides a trusted and insightful guide through one of the most consequential questions of our time: Are we witnessing the decline of western/liberal democracy? Listen to the podcast now on the Listnr app.