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The Student News Site of Santa Maria High School

The Breeze

The Student News Site of Santa Maria High School

The Breeze

The Student News Site of Santa Maria High School

The Breeze

Hickory Tikory Tok, the Singaporean is on the Clock

The House of Representatives just voted on a bill that gives TikTok two choices: to either sell their company, or to get banned altogether.
Getty Images
This image comes from Getty Images but was slightly edited by Rodrigo Garcia.
Senator Tom Cotton questions CEO of TikTok during a Congress session.

Before we had TikTok, we had Musical.ly. Musical.ly was a social media app that allowed users to lip sync and dance along to their favorite music. It was bought out in November 10th, of 2017 by ByteDance Ltd. who merged it into TikTok on August 2nd, 2018. Though a bit of an unpopular change at first, TikTok was eventually accepted by its many young users, quickly becoming synonymous with Gen Z. However, as time went on, controversy began to build once more people became aware of TikTok’s dealings with China. China has a policy for apps that have dealings in their country, that they have to sell their data to them (the U.S. has the same policy). Because of this policy, Senator Tom Cotton questioned CEO of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, about his affiliations with Communist China. “Have you ever been a member of the Chinese Communist Party?” asked Senator Cotton during a court hearing with the TikTok CEO.

A pie chart of the survey we conducted on what our SMHS Saints think about the possible TikTok ban. (Kasey Baltodano)

The House of Representatives recently voted on a bill that states, “This bill prohibits distributing, maintaining, or providing internet hosting services for a foreign adversary controlled application (e.g., TikTok).” This bill is essentially saying that apps controlled by a foreign adversary may not be available for download in the U.S. We created a survey asking 55 SMHS students and staff if they supported this bill. 61.8% of Saints answered that they do not support the bill while 18.2% answered yes, and 20% answered that they simply did not care. Some SMHS students have also commented on why they don’t support the bill. “…it is taking away many jobs in the United States. Many people use this app to promote their restaurant or other important things.” While many students don’t support this bill, others have explained that the reason they do support the bill is because “they steal [your information]” and that “it’s just an app”.

I see how TikTok negatively impacts my child, my students, society…”

— Ms. Turner

We had the opportunity of interviewing two English teachers here at SMHS who gave us their opinions on this issue. Ms. Turner remarked, “the initial reaction for me was ‘Oh the government is trying to control us they want to stop critical thinking.'” However, Turner also decided to see the House’s point of view on this matter. “I see how TikTok negatively impacts my child, my students, society and with all the intel they have, I understand what they’re going through (they being the government).” The other English teacher we had contact with was Ms. Miles. She suggested that the House wants to ban TikTok because “we don’t have control of the algorithm and they want to have control of what people are allowed to see. They want it to be more positive than negative.” She went on to say that “it has nothing to do with entertainment, it has to do with mental health.”

Neil (Owen) Arandia, a freshman, had this to say about why he thinks TikTok might be getting banned: “With the stuff I’ve seen on TikTok, it’s pretty bad especially when it’s affecting the newer generation, so I get why they’re trying to ban it.” Jennifer Bravo-Ramirez, a senior and Breeze staff member, noticed that CapCut was owned by the same company that owns TikTok which will also be in jeopardy due to this new bill.

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If this bill were to pass, what impact would it have? A student parent observed that “if they are [allowed to freely] use it, they can watch bad videos” and that once they start “seeing certain challenges, they decide to do it” which she noted can be harmful for the viewer. The student parent also mentioned that TikTok can also “[teach] them how to do certain recipes” (them being the viewers) as well as other life-based skills. Now, how would this impact the content creators who make money or have made small businesses off of this app? Ms. Turner commented that the content creators will have to get “real jobs” while Owen said they will have to move on to “other platforms like YouTube Shorts or Instagram Reels.” Ms. Miles said that “if its’ [posts are] positive, I think it will work” further explaining that she believes small businesses are something positive, and they will be able to survive the TikTok ban.

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Rodrigo Garcia
Rodrigo Garcia, Contributor
My name is Rodrigo Garcia. This will be my first and final year as a Breeze Contributor as I am now a senior. If I would've known about the Journalism class earlier, I definitely would've joined. As I mentioned already, I'm a senior, Class of 2024. Some goals that I have while working on the Breeze is to hopefully release more podcast episodes, get even more articles published than before, and hopefully start doing some video production. I've always been pretty decent with handling video production so once we hopefully start to do videos, I could be a helping hand with it. Some stuff I like to do in my free time is draw. I usually prefer to draw digitally on my computer. Traditional drawing, not so much. I don't mind it, but I usually sketch when it comes to traditional drawing. But in all honesty, I love all things art. I even try to read books to understand the past history of art. I also love to play video games. I've been playing video games for most of my time being alive. I don't play very often because of school and other stuff I prioritize but I still try my best to make time to play a game whether if it's by myself or with my sister, it's all fine with me. I like to do voice acting/voice impressions. As someone who's been watching TV for years there's no doubt that the interest of mimicking voices was something I liked. I'm pretty good with doing voices from cartoons from the 60's to early 2000's. If you know some kind of show, chances are I might have a voice impression for that. I also love to go on walks. I'm not the sporty type of person but I always appreciate a nice walk, especially in the afternoons. I try to take long walks with my dog, but he gets easily distracted by the slightest noise or thing so he's all over the place, making it pretty annoying even to just walk to the other side of the area. I really hope we get a lot of work done this year to keep the staff and students informed of all types of media. As well as getting creative not only here on The Breeze, but on campus as well.
Nathan Gomez
Nathan Gomez, Contributor
Hello, my name is Nathan Gomez, and I am a senior this year. I am 17, and this is my first-time doing Journalism. I am excited and hopeful that my last year here at SMHS will be the best! Some things you should know about me is that I like to watch movies. My all-time favorite movie is Avengers: Age of Ultron. I can paint, although I mainly do landscapes; I am learning to do human portraits. I also love to read comic books. Some smaller facts about me: I never had a pet, I can roller skate, my favorite color is gold, I like to collect Funko Pops, I learned how to sculpt two years ago, I like the Dragon fruit drink from Starbucks, I listen to all music genres, I have a watch collection, and my favorite animal is a horse. I am looking forward to working with the Breeze staff, and as my role of contributor, I aim to help my colleagues in accomplishing this year's goals. We at Breeze strive to inform our fellow classmates and staff about current issues, changes, or just some interesting news that is happening around school.
Jennifer Bravo
Jennifer Bravo, Contributor
I'm Jennifer Bravo and I am actually a senior this year. Very early into the school year I will also be turning 17, and as far as I know that isn't really an age where you unlock a bunch of new privileges like when you're 18 or 21, but it is a step closer so I'm looking forward to it. I like listening to music in my spare time and just like anyone else, I listen to basically everything except country. Lately though I've been really into the artist Arca.   I don't really watch all that many shows, I just haven't heard of enough stuff that interests me. As for reading I've been thinking about getting into the Bible; I've heard a lot of things about it. I hear it's a very beautiful text and I'd like to see what It's all about, maybe it's interesting. I don't really read comics, and I don't really like webcomics but that's probably because I haven't been exposed to enough of them because I started reading Homestuck earlier this year and it's been an alright experience, it definitely isn't for everyone though.
Kasey Baltodano
Kasey Baltodano, Editor
My name is Kasey and I am a senior this year at Santa Maria High School. I am the oldest out of two kids. My younger sister currently attends SMHS as a freshman. I am the daughter of two loving parents and I am a granddaughter of equally loving grandparents. I am currently studying French and journalism. I chose journalism because the class stood out to me and I've always wondered how the life of a journalist was. I love to draw and bake sweets. I also love to hang out with friends and family and just go about anywhere. I love traveling and cave exploring. Sometimes I roller skate and go hiking. I try to do these activities when I have the time or when I have someone to go with. I also enjoy reading in my spare time and when I do, I usually read romance, drama, or mysteries/crime. I really hope to help grow The Breeze and contribute to it as much as I possibly can to have a good year. :)
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