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TikTok Issues Fearful Response After Bill to ‘Outright Ban’ the App Gains Momentum

tiktok-issues-fearful-response-after-bill-to-‘outright-ban’-the-app-gains-momentum
TikTok Issues Fearful Response After Bill to ‘Outright Ban’ the App Gains Momentum

News

 By Johnathan Jones  March 6, 2024 at 4:34pm

The social media video-sharing app TikTok issued a panicky statement on Tuesday in response to a bill that is gaining momentum in the House to ban it in the U.S.

TikTok issued a statement aimed at users and lawmakers that made it clear the proposed legislation would completely outlaw it in the country.

The Beijing-owned social media giant has been in the crosshairs of some lawmakers in Washington for several years now due to its ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

Officials at ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, have maintained they are not monitoring Americans through the app — which is not even available in its American form in China.

Throughout the last year, the app has been banned on government mobile phones at state and federal levels.

Meanwhile, talks of banning the platform in the U.S. have faced bipartisan support.

NBC News reported a coalition of Democrats and Republicans are engaged in talks that would force ByteDance to either offload TikTok or see it removed from American app stores.

The bill for now is called the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act. It would allow the federal government to deem applications owned by America’s geopolitical foes to flag and ban them.

In response to the bill, TikTok defended itself as a harmless place for expression and jobs on the social media platform X.

“Our statement on the latest TikTok legislation: This bill is an outright ban of TikTok, no matter how much the authors try to disguise it,” the verified TikTok account said.

“Seethe and cope.” https://t.co/kptTuUAmDQ pic.twitter.com/wIHIcqOKn0

— Rep. Mike Collins (@RepMikeCollins) March 6, 2024

TikTok added, “This legislation will trample the First Amendment rights of 170 million Americans and deprive 5 million small businesses of a platform they rely on to grow and create jobs.”

Republican Rep. Mike Collins of Georgia shared the statement and mocked the social media platform’s fearful tone.

“Seethe and cope.” https://t.co/kptTuUAmDQ pic.twitter.com/wIHIcqOKn0

— Rep. Mike Collins (@RepMikeCollins) March 6, 2024

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri also shared a succinct response to the statement:

BAN TikTok

— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 6, 2024

According to NBC News, the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act is being authored by Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin.

Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, chairwoman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said she would support bringing the bill for a vote.

Meanwhile, the White House has expressed support for the bill, but has not endorsed it or signaled whether President Joe Biden would sign it if given the opportunity.

In a comment to reporters, Gallagher disputed claims that he wants to ban TikTok, but said he does want to protect Americans’ privacy.

“It is not a ban,” he said. “Think of this as a surgery designed to remove the tumor and thereby save the patient in the process.”

Gallagher concluded his bill is a chance to save TikTok while wrestling it away from its Chinese owners and creators.

“If you value your personal freedom and privacy online, if you care about Americans national security at home, and yes, even if you want TikTok to stick around in the United States … this bill offers the only real step toward each of those goals,” he said.


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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.

Johnathan “Kipp” Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.

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