On Tuesday, Republican Senator Marco Rubio introduced a bipartisan bill to ban popular social media app TikTok, as fears rise that the app may be used by China to spy on Americans and “censure content.”
The bill reads that it was proposed to “protect Americans from the threat posed by certain foreign adversaries using current or potential future social media companies that those foreign adversaries control to surveil Americans, learn sensitive data about Americans, or spread influence campaigns, propaganda, and censorship.”
BREAKING: Republicans have introduced legislation to ban TikTok from operating in the U.S. pic.twitter.com/xUKcb1G1o3
— Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) December 13, 2022
If passed, the legislation will block all transactions from any social media company that is owned by, or under the influence of, Russian and China.
At a hearing last month, FBI Director Chris Wray said TikTok’s U.S. operations raise national security concerns, flagging the risk that the Chinese government could harness it to influence users or control their devices.
In 2020, then-President Donald Trump attempted to block new users from downloading TikTok and ban other transactions that would have effectively blocked the apps’ use in the United States but lost a series of court battles over the measure.
The U.S. government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a powerful national security body, in 2020 ordered ByteDance to divest TikTok because of fears that U.S. user data could be passed on to China’s communist government.
CFIUS and TikTok have been in talks for months aiming to reach a national security agreement to protect the data of TikTok’s more than 100 million users.
— Natalie Neysa Alund (@nataliealund) December 13, 2022
As someone who uses TikTok, I do not want to see the app banned. I can understand measures being taken to ensure it is safe from foreign adversaries, but to ban it completely would be very disappointing.
Not only do I post my own content, but I use the social media site to connect to others in ways that Facebook and Twitter do not offer. I follow people who post content relevant to my life, such as holistic doctors, physical trainers, farmers, homesteaders, people who teach new cleaning techniques, other parents with good advice, recipe pages, motivational blogs, and more.
In many ways, the app and its algorithms allows us to directly connect to, and learn from people that we likely never would have been able to elsewhere.