TikTok Ban Passed in House


By Cal Bieler

The TikTok Ban bill just passed the House, but it doesn’t mean it’s banned yet. On March 13, the House of Representatives passed bill H.R.7521. The bill is better known as “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act,” although the vast majority of Americans call it the “TikTok Ban.” 

The bill, first introduced to the House March 5, sponsored by representative Mike Gallaghar, was created “To protect the national security of the United States from the threat posed by foreign adversary controlled applications, such as TikTok and any successor application or service and any other application or service developed or provided by ByteDance Ltd. or an entity under the control of ByteDance Ltd.” according to the bill. 

ByteDance, a Chinese company located in Beijing, is the parent company of TikTok. ByteDance did not create TikTok, but acquired its predecessor, musical.ly, back in November 2017. TikTok existed, but was only availability was in India. ByteDance had merged the two apps in 2018, and performance skyrocketed. In 2020, TikTok had surpassed two billion global downloads, and according to Backlinko, currently has over 1 billion active users. The CEO of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, has already been in front of the U.S. Congress before, for a different TikTok ban. He also testified a separate time in early 2024, in regards to child internet safety. 

Even though TikTok has been at the chopping block of U.S. app stores before, this bill is more likely to pass. Vitus “V” Spehar from UnderTheDeskNews simplified the bill as “If enacted it would give TikTok six months to divest from its Chinese owner Bytedance. It would also remove the app from the app stores like Apple and Google, by imposing civil penalties on Apple and Google if they host the TikTok app.” The civil penalty being that the hosting app store would pay $5000 per user, per day. As of current, there are roughly 150 million Americans using the TikTok app, which would result in $750 million. Both companies would lose major profits if they kept the app available. 

Politicians have discussed time and time again the reasoning for a TikTok ban. Senators Mark Warner of Virginia, and Marco Rubio of Florida said “We are united in our concern about the national security threat posed by TikTok — a platform with enormous power to influence and divide Americans whose parent company ByteDance remains legally required to do the bidding of the Chinese Communist Party.” The biggest concern of those in favor of the bill is how China would be stealing American data. The bill, as stated by Spehar, is to pressure ByteDance into forcing a sale of TikTok to a non-Chinese company. With Americans only making up ten percent of users, ByteDance may be willing to lose them. 

Even with the potential threat of stolen data, this loss still afects Americans. CEO Chew stated, “It will also take billions of dollars out of the pockets of creators and small businesses. It will put more than 300,000 American jobs at risk and it will take away your Tiktok.” It has given our 170 million users a platform to freely express themselves, and has empowered more than seven million businesses in the United States. Our platform matters to the small business owners, who rely on TikTok to make ends meet.” 

To Americans, this is not just another social media app like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, or Discord. TikTok is how many Americans get information and impact decisions larger than them. While the House passed the bill with a 352-65, the Senate still has a vote, and President Biden stated that he would sign the bill. 

While the bill is still coursing through Congress, Americans can contact their representatives and senators. Kansas State Senators are Jerry Moran, 202-224-6521 and Roger Marshall, 202-224-4774. If you wish to impact a change, feel free to give them a ring.


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