US lawmakers have come up with a bill to ban the popular Chinese-owned app TikTok from the United States.
According to CNN, the new bill introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and a bipartisan pair of congress members in the House, highlights the recent tussle with China by US policymakers.
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Senator Rubio introduced the bipartisan legislation to ban TikTok from operating in the US, called ‘Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party Act’ – and whoever was in charge in naming it seems to have done summersaults in order to have the acronym read ‘ANTI-SOCIAL CCP.’
The federal government has yet to take a single meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok.
This isn’t about creative videos — this is about an app that is collecting data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day. We know it’s used to manipulate feeds and influence elections.
We know it answers to the People’s Republic of China. There is no more time to waste on meaningless negotiations with a CCP-puppet company. It is time to ban Beijing-controlled TikTok for good.
The short-form video app has been under the scanner to safeguard US user data from the Chinese government.
The proposed legislation would “block and prohibit all transactions” in the United States by social media companies with at least one million monthly users that are based in or under the “substantial influence” of countries that are considered foreign adversaries, including China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela.
The bill specifically names TikTok and its parent, ByteDance, as social media companies for the cause of the legislation.
Previously, TikTok has maintained it doesn’t share information with the Chinese government.
How much the algorithms on TikTok differ from YouTube or Instagram in their ability to curate feeds and keep people checking in is a worthwhile question, as is whether the label of ‘digital fentanyl that’s addicting Americans, collecting troves of their data, and censoring their news’ could be applied by US-owned social media apps as well.
But of course, the underlying fear those looking to ban it point to is that the Chinese state could start meddling with it at any time.
In the UK there have been similar noises. Members of Parliament sanctioned by China argued that the government in Beijing uses the social media app as spyware, the Financial Times reported.