Users outraged over US sale plan of Tiktok

Critics argue the bill infringes on free speech and harms millions reliant on TikTok for business and communication.
21 March 2024
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American politicians are being bombarded with calls from displeased TikTok users regarding the proposed  plans to force  ByteDance, its parent company to sell the social media app.

The bill, which would require the sale within six months or risk a ban, was unanimously approved by the Energy and Commerce Committee last Thursday. TikTok users received a notification urging them to prevent a potential shutdown of the app.

Dozens of calls have flooded congressional offices, with even children reaching out to express their concerns. TikTok confirmed urging users to contact their representatives to oppose the bill. 

The legislation, initiated by a bipartisan group of 20 lawmakers focusing on the Chinese Communist Party, could go for a full House vote next week and then to the Senate for approval.

The bill aims to safeguard American national security by addressing concerns of foreign-controlled applications like TikTok. Lawmakers allege connections between ByteDance, and the Chinese Communist Party, which ByteDance denies. Failure to comply with the bill would lead to TikTok's removal from US mobile app stores.

Criticism was made towards TikTok's mobilisation efforts of users, prompting a response defending users' rights to contact Congress. The platform criticised the proposed legislation as a disguised ban that would infringe on the First Amendment rights of many Americans and harm small businesses.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) denounced the legislation as a political move during an election year that disregards the app's importance for information and communication. 

This bill marks another move by American lawmakers to restrict TikTok.

- CyberBeat


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