Now, It’s Off to the Senate: House Passes Bill That Might Ban TikTok

tiktok ban us flag china flag in background

Today, on March 13, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill forcing a TikTok ban — unless the platform sells (aka “divests” its assets) to a U.S. buyer. The bill passed with a 352-65 vote.

Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 50-0 in favor of the bill, allowing it to proceed to a full vote in the House. It now heads to the Senate, where it faces an uncertain future. The issue has senators divided, and they may amend the bill.

President Joe Biden has said he would sign the bill if it passes, despite recently joining TikTok himself. Former President Donald Trump, on the other hand, said he opposed the bill — despite trying to pass a TikTok ban back in 2020.

As previously covered by Passionfruit, the bill would allow the president to label social media platforms as national security threats under the control of “foreign adversaries.” These currently include China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea.

Once the President determines an app to be a “risk,” he could ban a platform from app stores unless it wholly severed ties with these countries within 180 days. In TikTok’s case, it would have to quickly sell or leave the U.S. entirely.

The bill has faced intense criticism from creators, who say the ban will obliterate their business and main sources of income. #KeepTikTok is trending on social media, and the app is also sending out push alerts urging users to contact their representatives in opposition to the bill.

Further reading:

Are you a creator who is worried about a potential TikTok ban? Email to share your experience.

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