TikTok Users Recruited To Influence U.S. Bill That Could Ban App

TikTok on Thursday sent a “direly worded alert” for those using the platform, urging them to call Congress and stop the bill that could ban the app.

The move recruited TikTok users to influence the U.S. government through immediate alerts, precision targeting and millions of the app's fans.

Alerts were sent to the phones of TikTok users in states whose House representatives are on the Energy and Commerce Committee, Politico reported.

The committee voted on the bill Thursday. It advanced out of committee Thursday in 50-0 bipartisan vote.

Users got a pop-up alert that read: “TikTok is at risk of being shut down in the US. Call your representative now.” They also got a link to a website describing the law as “the TikTok ban.”



TikTok users called some congressional offices with dozens of calls. Some staffers dismissed the callers as uninformed, or as pranksters, or as “teenagers and old people saying they spend their whole day on the app,” reported Politico. 

Critics of TikTok have argued the Chinese government could force the company to share data on American users. 

Marketers have become accustomed to using TikTok to advertise and share their brands, but a bill that could lead to it become unavailable in the United States has gained traction in the House.

Lawmakers are voicing concerns about the potential for the platform to manipulate those in the United State. The measure gained the support of House Speaker Mike Johnson and could soon come up for a full vote in the House.

The bill requires Beijing-based ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, to divest TikTok and other applications it controls within 180 days of enactment of the bill or it become prohibited in the United States.

Security issues surfaced several years ago around user data collected by TikTok and how the company shares it with its parent company ByteDance.

In 2022, TikTok moved all U.S. user data to Oracle's public cloud. This change was the result of more than a year of discussions with TikTok and Oracle, and was intended to convince the U.S. government that the company will keep it safe and not expose personal information about U.S. residents to China’s government. 




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