TikTok Faces Resistance from Users Amidst US Congressional Move for Sale

TikTok Faces Resistance from Users Amidst US Congressional Move for Sale

TikTok Faces Resistance from Users Amidst US Congressional Move for Sale

TikTok users in the United States have launched a revolt against plans to force its parent company, ByteDance, to sell the popular social media app.

A bill mandating the sale within six months or risking a ban on TikTok was approved by a US congressional panel, sparking a strong response from users. The bill, proposed by a cross-party group of 20 lawmakers, unanimously passed the Energy and Commerce Committee, with a full House floor vote expected next week.

TikTok users received notifications urging them to "stop a TikTok shutdown" and take action by contacting their representatives. The move led to an influx of calls to congressional offices, with users expressing their discontent with the proposed sale. The bill, aimed at protecting the national security of the United States, alleges links between ByteDance and the Chinese Communist Party, a claim denied by ByteDance and TikTok.

The proposed legislation specifically targets ByteDance, requiring the company to sell TikTok or face removal from mobile app stores in the US. While proponents argue that it is not an outright ban, TikTok has labeled it as such, claiming a violation of First Amendment rights for millions of users and small businesses. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) criticized the move, characterizing it as an attempt to score "cheap political points" during an election year.

The bill has reignited concerns about the control of a major media platform by a foreign adversary, prompting lawmakers to emphasize the national security threats they perceive. Committee chairman Mike Gallagher highlighted that the proposed legislation aims to prevent America's foremost adversary from controlling a dominant media platform. TikTok's parent company ByteDance is given approximately six months to comply with the sale requirement.

This legislative move represents the latest effort by US lawmakers to address concerns related to TikTok, with previous attempts facing legal obstacles. The app is already banned on US government devices, although President Joe Biden's re-election campaign maintains an account. Former President Donald Trump's attempt to ban TikTok and WeChat faced legal challenges and did not come into force.

As the battle between lawmakers and TikTok intensifies, the platform's mobilization of its users adds a new dimension to the controversy. TikTok's call for user action has prompted a debate about the platform's influence and its users' role in advocating against the proposed sale. The outcome of this clash will likely impact the future trajectory of TikTok in the United States and may set precedents for the regulation of social media platforms with potential national security implications.

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Azamat Abdoullaev

Tech Expert

Azamat Abdoullaev is a leading ontologist and theoretical physicist who introduced a universal world model as a standard ontology/semantics for human beings and computing machines. He holds a Ph.D. in mathematics and theoretical physics. 

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