Will TikTok Be Banned In The United States?

To some, TikTok is the place to go to find fashion trends, look at cute cat videos, and dance like nobody is watching (even when millions are). For others, it’s where art goes to die. No matter what you seek out on TikTok, the future of the app is increasingly uncertain. Again!

This week, the House of Representatives passed a bill that requires ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, to sell the app or face a ban in the U.S. The bill, which is called “Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” prevents any app store in the U.S. from hosting ByteDance’s apps, including TikTok, unless the app severs ties to ByteDance within six months. The app is currently used by roughly 170 million Americans, many of whom were upset after UMG yanked their catalog from the app last month.

Reuters reports that TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will head to Capitol Hill this week to talk to senators. The company believes that the government is “attempting to strip 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression.” Meanwhile, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan claims that the goal is not to ban the app, but to change ownership. “Do we want TikTok, as a platform, to be owned by an American company or owned by China? Do we want the data from TikTok – children’s data, adults’ data – to be going, to be staying here in America or going to China?” Sullivan said. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin called the ordeal “bullying behavior.”

On the other hand, Gen Z Democratic Rep Maxwell Frost believes that the attempt to ban the app violates the First Amendment. “I think that it is a violation of people’s First Amendment rights,” he said. “TikTok is a place for people to express ideas. I have many small businesses in my district and content creators in my district, and I think it’s going to drastically impact them too.” TikTok has been sending in-app alerts urging its users to call their reps, which only made them more upset..

So what does this mean for TikTok scrollers? The legislation will now head to the Senate, then the President. President Biden, who uses TikTok himself, says that if the bill reaches his desk he will sign it. For now, TikTok is still around, but it could be the end.

(Via Variety)