The US House of Representatives Passes bill that could ban TikTok

The US moved a step closer to banning TikTok after the House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday calling for the app’s Chinese developer ByteDance to divest from the company or be booted out of US app stores.

The Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, receiving 352 votes in favour, and only 65 against.

Many House legislators have argued that the app could allow the Chinese government to access user data and influence Americans through the wildly popular social media platform’s addictive algorithm. The White House has backed the bill, with President Joe Biden saying he would sign it if it passes Congress.

Legislators and the White House, however, are at odds with many of TikTok’s 170 million US users – representing roughly half the country – as well as civil liberties and digital rights groups who say a ban would infringe on freedom of speech.

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♬ original sound – Glow Picks

In the meantime, the bill still faces hurdles including clearing the US Senate, the upper chamber of the US legislature, where the path forward is far from straight. The bill will face a new round of scrutiny from legislators on both sides of the aisle and potential competition from different versions of a ban.  (continue reading /courtesy of al jazeera)