House passes legislation that could ban TikTok in the US

 April 22, 2024

Legislation was enacted by the House on Saturday that would prohibit TikTok in the United States if the China-based owner of the popular social media platform does not sell its stake within a year. However, the app will not likely be removed anytime soon.

After an earlier version had stalled in the Senate, the ban was expedited by the decision of House Republicans to include TikTok in a larger foreign assistance package, a priority for President Joe Biden with broad congressional support for Ukraine and Israel, as CBS News reported.

In March, the House of Representatives passed a stand-alone measure with a six-month selling deadline by an overwhelming bipartisan margin, despite the fact that both Democrats and Republicans expressed national security concerns regarding the app's owner, the Chinese technology company ByteDance Ltd.

Changes to the Measure

The amended measure, which was approved by a vote of 360-58, is now en route to the Senate following compromise negotiations.

In the event that the legislation is enacted, the organization would remain solvent for a maximum of one year and would almost certainly attempt to litigate the matter in court, contending that it would violate the First Amendment rights of the application's millions of users.

Court challenges have the potential to substantially impede the implementation of the law or postpone the timeline established by Congress.

The organization vigorously opposed the legislation through lobbying, urging the 170 million U.S. users of the app, the majority of whom are youth, to contact Congress and express their dissent. However, legislators on Capitol Hill were infuriated by the intensity of the opposition, given the widespread apprehension regarding Chinese threats to the United States and the fact that few members utilize the platform.

From TikTok's Leadership

"We will not stop fighting and advocating for you," TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said in a video that was posted on the platform last month and directed toward the app's users.

"We will continue to do all we can, including exercising our legal rights, to protect this amazing platform that we have built with you."

Congress has been remarkably passive about technology legislation for decades, so the bill's amazing speed through the chamber is understandable given that it solely affects one corporation.

Efforts to secure users' privacy, hold firms more responsible for content posted on their platforms, protect children online, and other measures have gone unpunished by lawmakers.

Legislators are quite worried about China, citing that as the reason for the attempted ban of TikTok.

Concern Stateside

Intelligence agencies, lawmakers, and members of both parties are concerned that the Chinese government may order ByteDance to reveal personal information about American users or to promote or remove TikTok videos that suit Beijing's agenda.

TikTok has stated that it has not shared data from users in the United States with Chinese authorities and has refuted claims that it may be utilized by the Chinese government.

American officials have refused to confirm rumors that TikTok transferred user data from the United States with their Chinese counterparts or altered the company's widely used algorithm, which determines what users in the United States see.

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