The End of TikTok In The US?


Maeve Bidonde, Staff Writer

The internet has been ablaze over a bill that the House of Representatives recently passed that could result in TikTok being banned in the US. The bill calls for ByteDance, a Chinese company that owns TikTok, to sell their shares to an American company. If they refuse, TikTok will be wiped from social media in the country. In the past there have been speculations and possible misinformations about ByteDance stealing user data through TikTok, which poses a national security risk to the American government that could pose a national security risk. The bill appears to have been made to be an ultimatum directed towards ByteDance. 

What’s been upsetting people on social media is the discovery that many of the Representatives who voted ‘yes’ for the passing of the bill are actively TikTok users. Among these Representatives is Democratic Rep. Jeff Jackson for North Carolina. Jackson amassed quite the following on TikTok from explaining what is happening in the House, the world of politics, the State of the Union Address, and other political issues all from his kitchen. His reasoning behind voting ‘yes’ for the bill is because he agrees with the sale part involved. Which raises the question; why would politicians and their staff use the app knowing there could be a threat? Even President Biden, who has been pushing for this bill, uses TikTok for his campaign. 

According to CNN, Jackson understands why the House wants ByteDance to sell their TikTok shares to an American company. “When I was reading the bill, the part I agreed with was the part that tries to force a sale because I figured this would just be a better app if we didn’t have to worry about the stuff that comes with it being potentially controlled by an adversarial government,’’ Jackson expressed in an interview. “The part I didn’t like was the part that threatens a ban. Half the country is on this app. It has become a force for good in the lives of millions of people. So I weighed those two things, and the reason I voted for it was because I genuinely believe the chance of a ban is practically zero for a lot of reasons.” 

A lot of TikTok users have taken to their platforms to express their dissatisfaction towards the bill. Making videos about how TikTok is important to their business and community. Going as far as saying that they owe everything that’s happened to them on the platform. Another problem is companies that could afford TikTok’s price like Meta, Microsoft, and Google have had the Biden Administration repeatedly using antitrust law to keep them from getting bigger. As of right now, the future of TikTok hangs in the balance of what the Senate and Congress do next. President Biden supports the bill which means any hope of a veto will likely not happen.

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