TikTok Ban Legislation: Passage, Lawmakers’ Perspectives, and User Reactions

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Legislation Passage and Implications

As Congress voted Tuesday night on legislation that could ban TikTok, Americans were posting their real-time reactions on the embattled video-sharing app. The Senate passed a revised TikTok bill, tied to a package to provide aid for Israel and Ukraine, with a 79-18 vote, and President Biden signed it into law Wednesday. It will force TikTok’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, to sell the app to an American entity within 12 months or face a ban in the United States. The House passed the bill on Saturday with a 360-to-58 vote.

Lawmakers’ Perspectives

Representative Ro Khanna, a California Democrat representing Silicon Valley, had been a vocal opponent of the bill. He shared his opposition through videos posted on TikTok before and after the House vote. Mr. Khanna has been outspoken against a sweeping ban on TikTok, and has met with people who create content for TikTok to understand their concerns. “I voted no today on the bill to ban TikTok because it hurts the free speech of creators, activists, organizers, and small business owners who rely on the app to have their voices heard,” Mr. Khanna said in a statement following the House’s vote. He added his support for a new law that would give users more control of their data.

Representative Jamaal Bowman, a New York Democrat, was another opponent of the bill and previously said that banning TikTok meant silencing the voices of young people. In a two-and-a-half-minute video on Saturday, he called for comprehensive social media reform instead of singling out TikTok.

Content Creators and Users’ Reactions

Content creators and users on TikTok expressed mixed reactions to the potential ban. While some voiced concerns about losing a platform for creative expression, others worried about the implications of foreign ownership on their data privacy. The uncertainty surrounding the future of TikTok in the U.S. has sparked discussions about alternative platforms and the need for stronger regulations to protect user rights.

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