US House passes bill that could ban TikTok

WASHIGTON  -   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a statement after the House passed its bill that could ban TikTok. He remained uncommitted to the next steps in the Senate. “The Senate will review the legislation when it comes over from the House,” Schumer said. He would not specifically lay out what the next steps would be when asked yesterday. But that was before the vote passed in the House. If you’re a TikTok fanatic worried about how you’re going to stay connected to the world after a bill that could ban the app passed the House of Representatives Wednesday … don’t panic just yet. Many of the roughly 170 million Americans who use the app have raised concerns that banning TikTok could mean doing away with a platform that represents much more than a platform where young people can follow the latest updates about the Princess of Wales. It’s where they go to find connection, get entertained, seek information and earn a living. Some of those TikTokkers phoned their representatives in recent days to urge them to vote “no” on the bill, after the app alerted users to the potential ban. There are other platforms available for TikTok users, nearly every major social media company has spent the past several years trying to mimic the app’s popular formula of snappy, shortform videos combined with a powerful recommendation algorithm that keeps users scrolling. However, shifting a loyal audience from one platform to another is easier said than done. But TikTok will not be disappearing from Americans’ phones anytime soon. The bill faces numerous hurdles to being signed into law and will almost certainly face legal challenges if it is. And if the bill becomes law, the question remains whether an American buyer would step in to save the day (if Byte- Dance is willing to divest the popular platform). The US House on Wednesday approved legislation that could ban Tik- Tok in the United States over concerns about the video sharing platform’s Chinese ownership. The bill, which passed on a bipartisan 352-65 vote, would require the app to part ways with its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, within 180 days or face a ban in American app stores. The measure is now expected to move to the US Senate, where it faces an uncertain future. President Joe Biden has said he would be prepared to sign the bill if it passes both chambers. Take a look at how each member of the House voted here and below is a breakdown of the vote. TikTok misread years of signals from politicians that they intended to ban the app, according to Paul Barrett, deputy director of New York University’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights. “Faced with persistent bipartisan suspicion in the US, ByteDance and the Chinese government should have read the political signals more astutely and spun off TikTok as a stand-alone American company,” Barrett said. “A broad US ban would inhibit Americans from using Tik- Tok to express themselves, an outcome that would limit free speech and make no one happy,” he continued.

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