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Bill approval does not mean TikTok will be banned anytime soon

The US government plans to pass bill to ban TIkTok. Photo via TikTok
The US government plans to pass bill to ban TIkTok. Photo via TikTok

Over the last few years, many attempts to ban the social media app TikTok have failed, but this week the possibility became more real.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill that could lead the United States to ban TikTok. If it becomes a law, the bill would give the Chinese parent company of TikTok, ByteDance, six months to sell the app to an American buyer. If this is not done, TikTok would be banned in the United States.

According to the New York Times, some lawmakers have been concerned about ByteDance’s relationship with the Chinese government. They said that this makes TikTok a national security risk since it could lead to the Chinese government interfering with U.S. elections or trying to influence users’ opinions on the election.

Like many apps, TikTok collects, holds, and sells users’ data. This can involve a user’s name, age, interests, address, and more. 

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. If passed there, it would go to President Joe Biden for approval.¨

Trying to avoid a ban, TikTok has invested money into a plan known as “Project Texas”. This project “aims to handle sensitive U.S. user data separately from the rest of the company’s operations,” according to the Times article.

But some lawmakers have said this project is not solving the problem and that they are getting impatient with TikTok.

The House of Representatives passed the bill with a bipartisan majority. The final results of the vote were 352-65, with 197 Republicans and 155 Democrats voting for the bill, and 15 Republicans and 50 Democrats opposed.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. If passed there, it would go to President Biden for approval.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has said the Senate is not in any hurry to vote on the bill, and it would face the normal Senate timing and procedures. Biden has already said that if the Senate approves it, he will sign it and it will become a law.

TikTok has made multiple efforts to get app users to oppose the bill, such as encouraging users to call their state representative. Lawmakers have received backlash from American citizens who say the bill violates the First Amendment.

The bill has some support from lawmakers in each party, but opposition from each party as well. Former President Donald Trump initially supported a ban, but now opposes it.

Overall, this does not mean TikTok will get banned immediately or any time soon. The process will take at least six months, not counting the Senate’s 30-plus hours of discussion and voting.

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Olivia Page
Olivia Page, Staff Writer
Sophomore Olivia Page is a first-year Staff Writer. She can be found playing soccer, playing piano, or listening to music.
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