US Senator Josh Hawley has announced plans to introduce a bill that would ban TikTok across the country. In a Tweet published today, the Missouri Republican addressed the current ban on government appliances while pushing for a complete ban for all US citizens. At the time of writing, the bill has not yet been introduced, and it’s unclear exactly how much support it would receive among Hawley’s fellow senators on both sides of the aisle.
on TwitterHawley wrote that TikTok is “China’s backdoor into Americans’ lives. It threatens both our children’s privacy and their mental health. Last month, Congress banned it from all government devices. Now I will introduce legislation to ban it nationwide.”
While the TikTok ban on government devices would be much easier to enforce, it’s hard to say what kind of public support a nationwide ban would have. TikTok has proven to be one of the fastest growing social media platforms, and many Twitter users have already held Hawley accountable for the possible invasion of their freedoms. While Hawley mentions the impact on children’s “mental health,” he doesn’t mention the impact of other social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. An argument can certainly be made regarding the link between social media and minors’ mental health, but Hawley doesn’t mention those platforms in his comments.
TikTok was launched in China in 2016 and in international markets a year later. Over the past six years, the platform has experienced incredible growth, with over 2 billion downloads worldwide. The company’s Chinese roots have led to skepticism from government officials such as former President Donald Trump. Despite this, the platform continues to thrive and has partnerships with a number of companies, including the NFL. How those partnerships will be affected remains to be seen, but a potential ban will likely take a long time to take effect.
Do you think a TikTok ban will gain broad support from the Senate? Do you think the bill would receive national support? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter and on Hive at @Marcdachamp to talk about all things gaming!