House Passes Revised Bill To Potentially Ban TikTok

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill over the weekend that could lead to the potential nationwide ban of short-form video sharing app TikTok. President Joe Biden has already declared his willingness to make the divest-or-ban bill into law. The decision is now up to the Senate.

The House passed a similar bill in March, but revised the legislation to appeal to more U.S. senators. The revised version expands the window for TikTok’s parent company ByteDance to sell the social media platform to a year, compared to six months in the original bill, and gives Biden the ability to issue a one-time additional 90-day extension.

“As I’ve said, extending the divestment period is necessary to ensure there is enough time for a new buyer to get a deal done,” stated Senate commerce committee chair Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) who urged the House to revise the bill’s details in March. “I support this updated legislation.”



The new bill, which was passed in the House 360 to 58 votes, is part of House Speaker Mike Johnson’s foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, and marks the first time the U.S. government has ever tried to ban an entire social media platform.

The Biden administration has made public their beliefs on the potential risks posed by the China-owned app, including the collection of sensitive data on Americans by the Chinese government, as well as a means to push government propaganda. These views have gained strong bipartisan support.

“This app is a spy balloon in Americans’ phones,” said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), author of the bill.

TikTok responded to the revised bill with a statement mentioning that the House is “using the cover of important foreign and humanitarian assistance to once again jam through a ban bill that would trample the free speech rights of 170 million Americans, devastate 7 million businesses, and shutter a platform.”

As TikTik continues to fight the legislation, data shows that the app hosts over 5 million small businesses in the US and generated almost $15 billion in revenue in 2023, creating over 224,000 US jobs.

“If lawmakers want to address real concerns their constituents have about Big Tech companies and data security, they need to pass legislation to strengthen privacy and antitrust regulations and enact protections for data security,” said Jensine Gomez, campaign director of liberal watchdog MoveOn. “TikTok shouldn’t get singled out when privacy, data tracking, and data harvesting are growing problems that Congress has failed to hold all social media platforms accountable for. And just banning TikTok won’t fix it.”

MoveOn has collected over 30 thousand signatures opposing the ban, calling it a political stunt.

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