Should the U.S. Ban TikTok? Open to Debate Tapes Virtual Debate on Friday

February 14, 2023
Shore Fire Media Press Release

With one billion active users across more than 150 countries, TikTok is by many measures the world’s most successful video app. Like virtually all of social media, user privacy concerns abound. But TikTok adds an extra layer. Owned by Chinese company ByteDance, there are worries that U.S. data could be transmitted to China’s government, despite assurances from the company that it is not. Those concerns prompted President Joe Biden to ban TikTok from government phones. More than half of U.S. states have similar controls. But with increased tensions between Beijing and Washington, and mounting questions of Chinese surveillance, some are calling for the U.S. to go further and ban the technology outright. In that context, award-winning debate series Open to Debate will tape a virtual debate on the question: Should the U.S. Ban TikTok?


Arguing “YES” is the American Enterprise Institute’s Kori Schake, a contributing writer at The Atlantic who has held leadership roles at the State Department, Defense Department, and National Security Council. Arguing “NO” is Georgia Institute of Technology professor Milton Mueller, founder of the Internet Governance Project, a policy analysis center for global internet governance.


While the debate will not be released widely until March 3, via public radio, video and the Open to Debate podcast, press are invited to attend and ask questions at the live virtual taping on Friday, February 17 at 2:00 PM ET. . Media can email for virtual access.



* Kori Schake: Senior Fellow and Director of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute 
Kori Schake is a senior fellow and the director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). Dr. Schake is the former deputy director-general of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. She has worked at the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the National Security Council at the White House. Author of five books, most recently “America vs. the West: Can the Liberal World Order Be Preserved?,” Dr. Schake is widely published in policy journals and the popular press. She has a doctorate in government and politics from the University of Maryland.

* Milton Mueller: Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology School of Public Policy and Founder and Director, Internet Governance Project 
Milton Mueller is an internationally prominent scholar specializing in the political economy of information and communication. Dr. Mueller is the co-founder and director of the Internet Governance Project, a policy analysis center for global internet governance. The author of seven books and scores of journal articles, his work informs not only public policy but also science and technology studies, law, economics, communications, and international studies. His books “Will the Internet Fragment?” (Polity, 2017), “Networks and States: The Global Politics of Internet Governance” (MIT Press, 2010) and “Ruling the Root: Internet Governance and the Taming of Cyberspace” (MIT Press, 2002) are acclaimed scholarly accounts of the global governance regime emerging around the internet. Dr. Mueller’s research employs the theoretical tools of institutional economics, and political economy, as well as historical, qualitative and quantitative methods.



Open to Debate was founded to address a fundamental problem in America: the extreme polarization of our nation and our politics. Through its award-winning live debates and associated programming, the nonprofit organization serves as a model for responsible media in a new age – fair, intelligent, nonpartisan – while restoring critical thinking, facts, reason, and civility to public discourse. Recognized as “Best Podcast Event of 2020” by Adweek, Open to Debate reaches millions through multi-platform distribution, including public radio, podcasts, video live streaming, newsletters, interactive digital content, and on-demand apps. With over 220 debates and counting, plus additional podcast and video content, the organization has encouraged the public to “think twice” on a wide range of provocative topics for over a decade. Open to Debate was initiated by The Rosenkranz Foundation, which continues to provide major support.



For more information on IOpen to Debate, contact Ray Padgett ( or Mark Satlof ( at Shore Fire Media.