US inches closer to a TikTok ban

US inches closer to a TikTok ban

The US House has voted 360-58 in support of a bill that would ban the video-sharing app TikTok if Chinese owners ByteDance fail to sell within 270 days.

The bill, part of a larger foreign aid bill that includes aid for Ukraine, also includes the option to extend the timeframe by 90 days if a deal is in progress. US officials allege that ByteDance is subservient to the Chinese Communist Party and as a result, the app poses a threat to US security.

The next step for the controversial bill is to be approved by the Senate, which will return from recess on April 29. From there, President Joe Biden has expressed his support for the bill.

TikTok has called this “unfortunate” and says that it is “trampling the free speech rights of 170 million Americans.” In a previous statement to Forbes, TikTok stated that forcing ByteDance to divest would not solve the problem, and “a change in ownership would not impose any new restrictions on data flows or access.”

Notable opposition to a TikTok ban

In 2020, former President Donald Trump came close to banning the popular app but held off under pressure from a series of legal challenges. Speaking to CNBC last week, however, he has reversed his stance and now opposes a TikTok ban.

He stated that a ban on TikTok would “make Facebook bigger and I consider Facebook to be an enemy of the people.” Trump was banned from Facebook in 2021 and has been a vocal opponent of them ever since.

His reversal of position comes during a period of reconciliation between Trump and Jeff Yass, a GOP donor who has a financial stake in TikTok.

Another prominent person who opposes the ban is Elon Musk, owner of X and Tesla. He said in a post on X “In my opinion, TikTok should not be banned in the USA, even though such a ban may benefit the 𝕏 platform. Doing so would be contrary to freedom of speech and expression. It is not what America stands for.”

We will know more about the chance of the bill passing the Senate when it reconvenes later this month, but for now, TikTok could still be banned in the USA.

Featured image credit: generated by Ideogram

The post “US inches closer to a TikTok ban” by Ali Rees was published on 04/22/2024 by