TikTok ban bill to be introduced by United States senator

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TikTok may be difficult to access in the United States if a bill introduced by a U.S. Senator is passed. If this bill succeeds, this might be the most robust law enforced regarding social media access in the country.

U.S. Senator Josh Hawley introduced a bill to ban TikTok in the United States, claiming that the app is “China’s backdoor into Americans’ lives.” The Republican senator claimed in a recent tweet that the app threatens both the privacy and mental health of children and wants to create legislation to ban it across the country.

This isn’t the first time that Hawley has criticized TikTok concerning American security. The politician claimed back in April 2022 that TikTok was a “Trojan horse for the Chinese Communist party,” according to The Guardian. At the moment, information about the proposed legislation is unknown.

According to Reuters, TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter responded to Hawley’s claim. She stated that the politician’s call for a nationwide ban on the app wouldn’t impact the issues he mentioned in his post. Oberwetter also believes that banning social media isn’t the solution to making America safe.

“Senator Hawley’s call for a total ban of TikTok takes a piecemeal approach to national security and a piecemeal approach to broad industry issues like data security, privacy and online harms. We hope that he will focus his energies on efforts to address those issues holistically, rather than pretending that banning a single service would solve any of the problems he’s concerned about or make Americans any safer.”

Meanwhile, Oberwetter released a Twitter thread, claiming that the Chinese government doesn’t have any control over ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company. She also claimed that anyone can go on the app and see videos that criticize the Chinese government, something that’s illegal in China.

This isn’t the first time that TikTok has been in the spotlight thanks to the government. According to The Guardian, the U.S. government banned the installation of the TikTok app on government devices in 2022. And back in 2020, former President Donald Trump attempted to ban the app in the US but failed. The U.S. government shared concerns that TikTok and ByteDance can access user data, especially from the government’s employees.

TikTok recently reported that it has around 80 million registered users from the U.S. It wasn’t revealed when the bill will be introduced or how it would be enforced. Until then, avid users don’t have to worry about losing access to the app just yet.