Culture Feature

Can Trump Really Ban TikTok from the US?  Should He?

How founded are the concerns about the app's security?

Say what you want about TikTok, but there's no question that the app is a massive success.

TikTok has surpassed 2 billion downloads and set a record for app installs in a single quarter, making it one of the most popular apps of all time. But as concerns about the security of the Chinese owned social media network mount, TikTok's future in the United States is looking more and more uncertain.

On Friday, President Trump told reporters that he would ban TikTok from operating in the United States through emergency economic powers or an executive order. This comes after concerns about the apps use of data, particularly the concern that the Chinese government has access to the data the app gathers from American users.

TikTok fans immediately expressed their concern, with one user, Ehi Omigie, saying, "Everyone is live right now," in a livestream on the app Friday night after news of Trumps statement spread. "Everyone is going cray cray ... If it does happen, follow me on Instagram."

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Culture Feature

This Haunts Me: "My Immortal" May Be One of the Greatest Works of Postmodern Art

Was "My Immortal" a genuine work of terrible fanfiction, or was it a big ironic joke all along?

For fiction enthusiasts in the early 2000s, Fanfiction.net was the place to be.

In 1998, Fanfiction.net launched as a hub for fanfiction stories. The Internet was still in its Golden Age of lawlessness and creativity, with decentralized fan communities spread across personal websites and niche forums. Each brimmed with their own politics and drama, and for fans of children's novels, especially Harry Potter, fanfiction was serious business.

Battle lines were drawn over which Harry Potter characters you shipped (in explicit detail, usually). Fanfiction with the correct ships would be lauded as the greatest thing since real Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, and bad ships would be derided as blasphemy. Dissent could mean being banned forever from the biggest online communities for your favorite series.

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Culture Feature

Myspace Was the Last Good Social Media Site

Myspace was the last social media that recognized the Internet's unique potential for individuality.

Myspace

At some point in 2006, I changed my name on Myspace from "Dan" to "D for Dandetta."

It was my freshman year of high school, and V for Vendetta had just come out in theaters (my friend and I snuck in after buying tickets to see Amanda Bynes' She's the Man). As a young, as-of-then-undiagnosed autistic nerd who thoroughly misunderstood social conventions, I decided that since V for Vendetta was easily the coolest R-rated movie I had ever seen, cute girls would think I was very cool by association if I tailored my online social presence to reflect it.

I made my profile background black to represent the darkness in my heart, and I changed the text color to red because revolution is bloody or something. I also set Vincent Valentine's theme song from Final Fantasy VII, which was edgy and mysterious just like me, to play on my profile in an endless loop.

One girl I had a crush on actually did start calling me "Dandetta." I thought she used it as an affectionate nickname, but in retrospect, probably not. In my defense, my brain was not fully developed.

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