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Telex: America may ban TikTok

Telex: America may ban TikTok

April 21, 2024 – 07:37

The US House of Representatives has passed a bill: The proposal attempts to ban TikTok entirely. This is the first time that the US government has been able to pass a law banning an entire social platform from America. The proposal will be presented to the Senate next week.

According to the bill's author, Michael McCaul, this “will protect Americans and American children from the malignant influence of Chinese propaganda received through TikTok.” McCall added that TikTok is a Chinese “spy ball” on Americans’ phones. TikTok's proposal is part of a funding aid package. This is intended to generate revenue for Ukraine while also imposing sanctions on China, Russia and Iran.

The bill came before the House of Representatives because a previous bill was updated by Maria Cantwell, chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, to extend the so-called “exclusion period” for ByteDance, which owns TikTok, to a year instead of half a year. That is, America can ban TikTok unless the Chinese company sells it to someone else.

In March, TikTok critics argued that Chinese company ByteDance could collect user data, which it could also use to censor content condemning the Chinese government. Before voting on the bill, the Chinese Foreign Ministry warned US lawmakers in a statement that the legislation could backfire on the United States.

ByteDance protested the bill, which it said was nothing more than a ban. The Chinese social video app has been banned from being used on US government devices for some time, just as TikTok has not been allowed on IT devices in many federal state governments. TikTok's response to the current bill: “We find it unfortunate that the House of Representatives is using the guise of prioritized foreign and humanitarian aid to once again pass a prohibitive bill that crushes the freedom of expression of 170 million Americans.”

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