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The Baccrag

US Threatens to Ban TikTok

In the past few years, in the United States, TikTok has drawn criticism and raised concerns about data access regulations. A law ordering Chinese corporation ByteDance to sell off the social media app within six months or face bans from U.S. stores and websites was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in March 2024 as a result of these concerns. TikTok would not be allowed to remain on US browsers, and Apple and Google would be forced to remove it from their app stores. This has raised concerns by many TikTok users all across the country. TikTok started off as a simple social media platform that was designed for making, sharing, and finding short videos. Young people used the app to express themselves through comedy, lip-syncing, dancing, and singing. Users may also make films and share them with others in the community. Now, the app is under fire for stealing data and putting its users in danger.

The app has now had its rising in politics. The bill needs to be approved by the US Senate and signed by the president in order to become law. The Senate, which has not yet scheduled a vote on the bill, will decide TikTok’s future after President Joe Biden announced that he will sign it. In the 2024 presidential contest against Biden, former president Donald Trump, who supported a ban on TikTok while in office, is now against the ban. Reversing course, TikTok has launched a $2.1 million marketing campaign that features American users talking about how the service has benefited their businesses and themselves. Given the political nature of the restriction, TikTok concentrated its advertisements on hard-fought U.S. Senate contests in 2024 and tried to persuade incumbents to oppose the House of Representatives ban.

According to TikTok, the app is used by over 150 million Americans and has helped around 5 million businesses launch and expand. The app was more than just a form of entertainment but a lucrative opportunity. Nearly 40% of small and medium sized businesses interviewed stated that TikTok is vital to the stability of their business. Many people use TikTok as their main form of income, without it people would go jobless. TikTok serves as an opportunity for those who are unable to get a job. This includes the disabled and working parents.

The US has threatened to outlaw TikTok on previous occasions. In 2020, the Trump administration made an effort to obstruct the application by using its emergency powers. The Biden Administration outlawed TikTok on devices used by federal employees in February 2023. The FBI and US Department of Justice opened an inquiry into claims that TikTok eavesdropped on American journalists in March 2023. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew went before the House Energy and Commerce Committee to defend the application on March 24, 2023. His testimony centered on TikTok’s user privacy and data security regulations, the platform’s mental health impact and security worries regarding the platform’s parent business, ByteDance. To satisfy privacy and security concerns, TikTok suggested in January 2023 a $1.5 billion proposal named Project Texas to relocate all U.S. data to the United States. Congress voted to prohibit the plan, which moved data to Oracle’s cloud and established a U.S. company to oversee it, but it was not successful.

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