us politics

Is TikTok About To Be Banned In America? Here’s What You Should Know.

A bill passed in the House this week has resulted in a lot of questions. Is TikTok About To Be Banned In America? Here’s What You Should Know. Shutterstock

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Criticism of TikTok is nothing new, but lawmakers came one step closer to potentially banning the platform nationwide this week when a bipartisan bill sailed through the House. It would still need to be approved in the Senate before it reaches President Joe Biden’s desk, but he has already indicated that he would sign it into law.

So what does this mean for the company and the roughly 170 million Americans who use the app? Let’s break it down.

The argument against TikTok

Some lawmakers who supported the bill cited ByteDance, TikTok’s owner, as their primary concern. The company is headquartered in China and has ties to that nation’s government, sparking concerns that it could be used as a way for Beijing to essentially spy on Americans.

Then there’s an argument common across social media, namely that users (particularly kids) are vulnerable to biased content, misinformation, and harmful posts being shared on the platform.

Here’s what the bill proposes

Some media coverage has called the legislation a “TikTok ban,” but that’s putting the cart before the horse. If the bill passes and becomes law, ByteDance would have six months to initiate a divestment of the social media app.

If, after that period, the company has not relinquished control of TikTok, a nationwide ban would be implemented. There are some fledgling efforts by U.S.-based investors to purchase the platform, but it remains to be seen whether any such sale will be completed.

Still available in the meantime

TikTok is operating normally across the U.S. for now — and even if the bill does pass, ByteDance will surely fight its requirements in court. The American people remain divided on the issue, with 31% of respondents favoring a nationwide ban in a recent poll compared to 35% who opposed the idea.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee March 16th, 2024
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