Five Facts on the TikTok Ban

Five Facts on the TikTok Ban

This week Congress achieved a rare overwhelming bipartisan consensus in its decision to pass legislation which would force ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns the controversial but popular app TikTok, to sell it to a U.S. buyer. With President Biden having signed the bill into law, TikTok’s days in the United States are now limited.

Here are Five Facts on the TikTok ban.

1. This legislation marked the first time Congress has passed a nationwide ban on an app.

The U.S. government has long expressed concerns over the security implications of the popular app, most notably that its algorithm is feeding Americans divisive content and that TikTok’s Chinese corporate owner is sharing Americans’ personal data with the Chinese government. Previously, the Trump administration sought to ban TikTok from U.S. phones using its emergency powers, but this was prevented through a court injunction. in 2020. Last year, the Biden White House formally banned TikTok from being used by federal workers in 32 states, while Montana passed its own legislation – currently being challenged in court – that banned the app within the state.

2. TikTok is fully or partially banned in at least 16 other countries, plus the European Union.

Countries like India and Nepal have enacted total bans on TikTok, while in states like France and the United Kingdom, the bans are primarily limited to government phones and devices.

3. The law requires TikTok’s Chinese company to sell the app no later than nine months from when the bill was signed into law.

The law does provide President Biden with the option of authorizing a 90-day extension if ByteDance, the Chinese owners of TikTok, are unable to find a buyer in the nine-month window. In either case, TikTok will likely continue to operate through the duration of the 2024 election season.

4. A March CNBC poll found that 47 percent of Americans support banning TikTok.

Of those who supported a ban, 27 percent would be in favor of keeping the app if it was sold to a non-Chinese company, while 20 percent believe the app should be banned no matter what. In contrast, 31 percent of Americans believe TikTok should not be banned at all.

5. TikTok’s owners have vowed to fight theban in court.

Some legal experts have asserted that banning TikTok violates the First Amendment by unjustly restricting Americans’ rights to information – a legal avenue ByteDance may pursue. The company has also indicated that if it is unable to overturn the ban, it will most likely shut down the app rather than sell it.