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  • Alexis Mobley

First Amendment Violation: US TikTok Ban Controversy

Alexis Mobley

On March 13, the House of Representatives held a congressional meeting about the possibility of a ban on TikTok in America. 

TikTok is accused of being a channel for the Chinese Communist Party, collecting sensitive user data and sending it to China. The app is owned by ByteDance which serves as a global incubator that operates different content platforms that educate, entertain and inform.

The company is based in Beijing, China.  The government finds the app a national security issue that could threaten U.S. citizens' privacy. The bill presented is to get ByteDance to sell TikTok to a non-Chinese company within six months. If the president signs the bill and the company is not sold, the app will be banned in the country. 

352 congressmen voted to pass a bill that would lead to the ban of TikTok. However, the bill would still have to be passed by the Senate and signed by the President. The fact that the House of Representatives managed to agree to ban the app has roused a bunch of criticism from people who use the app, saying that banning the app violates rights in America. 

Why exactly are people upset about this bill? The TikTok ban is a violation of the First Amendment, taking away people's freedom of speech to express their opinions on the app. TikTok is an app where people can listen to each other, tune in to different people's perspectives and have conversations. TikTok is where people gather a lot of their information, where people educate others and learn new things.

TikTok gives users the luxury of connecting with each other from across different countries and cultures. Users of the app also make their money from it. People who have jobs as influencers, business owners selling their products and charities use the app to build traction for their platforms to make money. 

A lot of the anger comes from the fact that America is involving itself in foreign affairs over a social media app.  People believe that the bill is a waste of time, stating that our government has other issues to worry about than what foreign countries are doing.

The House is so concerned about ByteDance because they have no control over the data. It makes no sense for ByteDance to sell the app for the sake of only a fraction of their user base data all because of a government that wants so much control over everyone else’s money. 

With all of this, we can only hope that the bill doesn’t get passed through the Senate. If it does, then TikTok in America will be put more at risk for a ban.

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