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TikTok Users Unite: Revolt Sweeps Across the US Amid Sale Controversy

TikTok Users Unite: Revolt Sweeps Across the US Amid Sale Controversy
TikTok Users Unite: Revolt Sweeps Across the US Amid Sale Controversy

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TikTok Users Unite: Revolt Sweeps Across the US Amid Sale Controversy

TikTok users are flooding American politicians with calls in response to proposed legislation that would mandate the sale of the popular social media app by its parent company. A congressional panel approved the bill, which sets a six-month deadline for the sale or faces a TikTok ban. Users received notifications urging them to take action against a potential shutdown, leading to a surge in calls to congressional offices. TikTok confirmed it sent the messages, encouraging users to contact their representatives to oppose the measure.

The bipartisan bill, endorsed by the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, emphasizes national security concerns. It alleges links between TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, and the Chinese Communist Party. Both ByteDance and TikTok deny these connections. The legislation gained unanimous approval from the Energy and Commerce Committee and is set for a total House floor vote next week, contingent on subsequent Senate approval.

Committee Chairwoman criticized TikTok’s mobilization of its user base, to which TikTok responded, questioning why members of Congress would complain about hearing from constituents. The bill’s primary objective is to safeguard the United States’ national security by addressing concerns over foreign adversary-controlled applications.

Proponents of the bill argue that ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, should be compelled to sell the app or face removal from mobile app stores in the US. They stress that the move is not an outright ban but an opportunity for ByteDance to comply within approximately six months. Critics, including TikTok, contend that the legislation effectively amounts to a prohibition, infringing on the First Amendment rights of millions of Americans and negatively impacting small businesses that rely on the platform.

TikTok, a popular app with approximately 170 million American users, issued a statement describing the legislation as an outright ban disguised by the authors. The company raised concerns about the impact on free speech rights and the livelihoods of small businesses relying on the platform for growth and job creation.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sided with TikTok, arguing that the legislation attempts to score political points during an election year. The ACLU emphasized the importance of TikTok for many Americans as a platform for information and communication.

This legislative move is the latest in a series of attempts by American lawmakers to regulate TikTok. The app is banned on US government devices, although President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign maintains an account. Previous efforts by former President Donald Trump to ban TikTok and Chinese-owned WeChat faced legal obstacles and did not come into force. The outcome of this proposed legislation will likely have significant implications for the future of TikTok in the United States.


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