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Tik But Don't Tok

The brain-warping app is at risk.

In 2020, then-President Trump out of nowhere threatened to “ban” TikTok from operating in the United States. As always happens with Trump, a frantic rush to figure out the details ensued; in the end, Trump was stopped by the courts and, with the attention span of a gnat, seemingly moved on to other, more treasonous priorities.

Fast forward to 2024.

The House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a bill to ban TikTok from operating in the US or force the sale of the most popular app among young people. The issue for lawmakers is national security, specifically the direct or indirect influence Xi’s CCP has over the ubiquitous social media app.

The Senate Intelligence Committee leaders called TikTok a “platform with enormous power to influence and divide Americans.” On the House side, Rep. Mike Gallagher had this to say about TikTok.

TikTok on

In response to a proposed legislation, a vocal minority has emerged to express their opposition. Rep. Jim Himes, one of the more thoughtful legislators, compared the legislation to something we would see in an authoritarian state: “[America’s adversaries] shut down newspapers, broadcast stations and social-media platforms. We do not.”

The decision on the bill now rests with the Senate, and its fate is uncertain. It remains to be seen whether Senate leadership will devote the necessary time and resources to move the bill forward, or if the Senate Commerce Committee will attempt to introduce its own legislation to address the issue at hand.

Regardless of the outcome, this is a critical moment in American politics that will have significant consequences for the future of our democracy.