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Potential TikTok Ban In US Gains Momentum

A potential TikTok ban in the U.S. is closer than ever before to becoming law, and if it does, Bytedance – the app’s parent company – will have 6 months to sell TikTok before the ban takes effect.

Unlike prior attempts at a ban, this latest push in the form of The ‘Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act’, also known as the ‘TikTok Bill’, is gaining steam with US lawmakers and in the White House.

A critical U.S. House of Representatives’ vote this week will determine whether it goes to a vote in the Senate next, and if it passes, the final step will be for the bill to be signed into law by President Joe Biden.

President Biden confirmed last Friday that he will sign it, if the bill reaches his desk.

Lawmakers are concerned that TikTok can be forced to hand over its data on American users to the Chinese government, creating a national security risk.

China’s cybersecurity laws stipulate that Chinese officials can access user logs, messages and comments on social media platforms to investigate legal cases, or for national security purposes.

This means that until TikTok is under American ownership, the Chinese government can potentially access the app’s data and use that information to serve political motivations.

US national security officials warn that this data on millions of American users could be used for espionage purposes, and that the platform can also be used to spread misinformation or propaganda.

In response, TikTok notified its American users with an in-app message urging them to contact their lawmakers to tell them to vote against the bill.

“Stop a TikTok shutdown,” the notice said. “Speak up now — before your government strips 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression.”

But it looks like TikTok’s attempt at mobilizing its user base may have backfired, with many lawmakers now inundated by calls expressing that this has worsened their concerns and strengthened their support of the bill.

To learn more about TikTok, visit its website here.

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