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If TikTok Is Banned, Does That Mean I Have To Go Touch Grass? Ew!

I don’t think I like this little life. In a move that could have TikTok users stitching the “oh no” sound, Republicans and Democrats joined hands in a rare moment of unity to push for the ban of TikTok. The House voted Wednesday to kick the popular app to the curb in the U.S. due to “national security concerns,” primarily because of the China-based company that owns it. We don’t have universal healthcare, but I’m glad both sides of the aisle can finally agree on something useful. I feel so protected. 

With a resounding 352-65 vote, the House sent a clear message that they’re not just swiping past this issue. However, Rep. Jasmine Crockett of Texas voted “present,” essentially like saying, “I’m here, but I’m not taking sides.” While it doesn’t directly impact whether the bill passes or fails, it does help meet the minimum number of members needed for the legislative body to do its thing legally. Now, the bill heads to the Senate, where its future is pretty murky. Here’s what we know so far about the ban on TikTok.

Why Does The U.S. Want To Ban TikTok?

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Speaker Mike Johnson from Louisiana didn’t hold back when it came to why he wanted TikTok banned. He warned that behind those catchy dances and lip-sync videos lies a big danger: “Communist China.” He basically said TikTok was like a Trojan horse from China, ready to snatch up American data and spread some serious “harmful” vibes. 

Only 50 Democrats and 15 Republicans were against the TikTok ban. They probably know how much fun TikTok is, unlike an opponent of the bill, conservative Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. who’s been banned from social media before. Shocker. 

But outside of the House, protests against the ban were in full throttle. TikTok itself argued that the bill was going against the First Amendment rights for all of its users, and even risking the livelihoods of people who relied on the app for their businesses. Think about it: What will the influencers do??

TikTok users flooded the app with calls to action, while young House Democrats and creators rallied outside, waving their smartphones like digital torches and pitchforks. 

Will TikTok Really Be Banned?

tiktok protest
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Defenders of the bill insist it’s not a total ban, just a “separation” from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance. Dubbed the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act (try saying that three times fast), the bill aims to give TikTok a makeover, sans “communist influence,” so that it can set a precedent for other social media apps owned by international foes like Russia, Iran, and North Korea. It’s like a digital detox, but for national security.

Lawmakers and intelligence officials are basically sweating bullets over China’s potential snooping via TikTok. With millions of users’ data at stake, they fear it’s not just fun and games anymore. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew has vehemently denied any communist control over the app, but the skepticism remains.

Basically, they want TikTok to be split from ByteDance, which they’re equating to the Chinese Communist Party. If ByteDance complies, then TikTok users can continue using the app like they usually do. If not, the app can get banned. 

It’s unclear as to whether or not this ban is going to go through. So in the meantime, I plan on bed rotting and scrolling TikTok like the First Amendment intended.

Syeda Khaula Saad
Syeda Khaula Saad
Syeda Khaula Saad is a sex & dating writer at Betches despite not remembering the last time she was in a relationship. Just take her word for it.