TikTok in the United States: House of Representatives Passes Ban By Overwhelming Majority Vote

The issue of banning TikTok has recently become a focal point of national security discussions within the United States. The House passed legislation. Fast-tracked the ban was approved around 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 13 March 2024, with 349 representatives voting yes, 66 voting no, one voting present and 14 not voting.

In recent days, discussions regarding the potential ban of TikTok, the prominent video-sharing app, have been at the epicentre of national security debates within the United States. The US House of Representatives reportedly looked favourably upon the passage of legislation that to ban TikTok. Fast-tracked the ban was approved around 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 13 March 2024, with 349 representatives voting yes, 66 voting no, one voting present and 14 not voting. This move signals a sizeable bipartisan apprehension over the national security effect of the app. What are the macroscopic consequences that could arise from the new legislation?

Background

TikTok, under the ownership of ByteDance, a company headquartered in Beijing, valued at $223.5 billion has faced increased scrutiny due to anxiety regarding possible exploitation of user data by the Chinese government or dissemination of propaganda through the platform. As the app’s popularity grows exponentially, particularly among American youth, the debate concerning its potential risks vis a vis freedom of speech and self-expression intensifies .

Support for the TikTok Ban

Offering support to the proposed ban, the Biden administration has revealed it stands behind the bill that intends to wipe out TikTok in the US. The administration’s endorsement suggests national security worries take precedence over the app’s widespread use as a social platform.

Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have joined in supporting the new legislation . Their stance mirrors party consensus, asserting TikTok’s potential linkage with the Chinese government poses a significant threat to American national security and data integrity.

Opposition to the TikTok Ban

However, this bipartisan agreement for a ban encountered several opponents. A consistent objector to the ban, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), has voiced concerns related to free speech rights. His standpoint reflects a libertarian perspective that values the preservation of individual liberties amid national security concerns.

Opposition also comes from former Ex President Trump who, back when in office, tried to enforce the sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations to a domestic company. This change in attitude towards a complete ban suggests a complex viewpoint possibly influenced by the app’s popularity and its role in the digital economy .

In addition, some Democrats have made known their concerns, likely indicative of the party’s internal spectrum of opinion and the emphasis placed on preserving a free and open internet.

Implications of the TikTok Ban

The ban of TikTok carries numerous significant implications for U.S.-China relations, freedom of speech and the technology industry. Tensions with China may amplify, potentially leading to reciprocal measures against American businesses. This move would also set a precedent for government interference in the digital sphere, raising questions about striking balance between security and liberty.

The impact on the technology industry could be tremendous. As a major actor in the social media landscape, TikTok’s expulsion from U.S. app stores may cause a upheaval of market dynamics, with other platforms rushing to fill the gap.

The Bottom Line

It’s clear that the debate surrounding TikTok’s future in the United States is complex, encompassing national security, free speech and the technology industry. The support and opposition from different quarters highlight the multi-faceted nature of the issue.

The new legislation echoes a growing apprehension over the influence of foreign technology companies on American soil. Yet, opposition underscores the importance of protecting our constitutional rights. While national security is of utmost importance, it needs to be juxtaposed with the preservation of freedoms that are inherently American.

In light of these deliberations, it is my view that the United States strives for a solution that addresses security concerns without infringing on its citizens’ rights. This might involve stricter data privacy rules, transparency mandates and continuous vigilance of overseas technology companies. Had a dance on TikTok? No more.

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Dr Marina Nani
Dr Marina Nani

Founder

Dr Nani is the Founder of Sovereign Magazine. She is also Editor-in-Chief of Sovereign's sister publication, Rich Woman Magazine. Passionately advocating for Social Edification, Dr Marina Nani is coining a new industry, MAKE THE NEWS ( MTN) with the aim to diagnose and close the achievement gap globally. Founder of RICH WOMAN SOCIETY™ Marina believes that there is a genius ( Stardust) in each individual, regardless past and present circumstances; "not recognising the talent in each individual, leaves our society at loss. Sharing the good news makes a significant difference on your perception about yourself, your industry and your community."