Biden signs bill to ban TikTok hours after Senate passage

 April 24, 2024

President Biden signed a bill Wednesday that could lead to a nationwide ban of TikTok.

The bill was part of a $95 billion foreign aid package that cleared the Senate in a 79-18 vote.

It's the most significant step Washington has yet taken against the popular social media app, which has been called a backdoor for Chinese surveillance and a platform for Chinese communist propaganda.

TikTok ban on the horizon

Biden - whose campaign has a TikTok account - did not comment on the potential ban when he signed the national security package Wednesday.

The TikTok legislation would force the app's China-based parent company, ByteDance, to sell TikTok in nine months or else trigger a ban. Biden could extend that window by another three months.

TikTok has pledged to challenge the ban on free speech grounds, also citing its economic impact in the U.S, where the app has become a popular commercial tool for many business owners and a source of income for social media personalities.

"We believe the facts and the law are clearly on our side, and we will ultimately prevail," TikTok said in a statement.

"The fact is, we have invested billions of dollars to keep U.S. data safe and our platform free from outside influence and manipulation," it continued.

"This ban would devastate seven million businesses and silence 170 million Americans."

Could ban affect Biden?

A Biden campaign adviser said Biden would remain on the app, for now. The adviser downplayed the idea that the ban would hurt Biden's popularity with young, progressive voters.

“Reducing young people’s vote down to the use of a social media app is unserious, inaccurate and insulting,” the adviser told Politico. “Election after election, young people continue to show us they understand the stakes of this moment.”

If the ban does go into effect, it would not happen until after the 2024 election, and a long court battle is likely.

President Trump is looking to capitalize on the news, telling his social media followers on TRUTH, "Just so everyone knows, especially the young people, Crooked Joe Biden is responsible for banning TikTok."

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said told the app's users in a video, “Rest assured, we aren’t going anywhere."

While the ban is being lamented by some, national security hawks like Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) say it is overdue.

"For years we've allowed the Chinese Communist party to control one of the most popular apps in America... that was dangerously short-sighted," Rubio, the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, said.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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