Potential TikTok Ban Inches Closer As Senate Passes Bill

A silhouette holding a smartphone with the TikTok logo crossed out. Next to the phone is a picture of Washington DC senate congress building with pink, orange, and black stripes.
Senate Ban TikTok Remix by Caterina Rose jumpingsack/Shutterstock salarko/Shutterstock alafarm/Shutterstock

Could this be the beginning of the end for TikTok? After nearly two months of floating in legal purgatory, the U.S. Senate passed the long-awaited TikTok ‘ban’ bill on April 23.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean TikTok will disappear — there are still many steps to take before we reach that point. Here’s what you need to know.

Did the Senate pass the TikTok ban?

The Senate finally passed the bill that would force a TikTok sale or ban late last night. It took the House making numerous attempts and even bundling into a foreign aid package, but it finally happened.

It was a landslide vote, with 79 senators in favor of passing the bill while 18 voted against it. The new law gives ByteDance 9 months to a year to sell TikTok to a U.S.-based company or face a ban on the app in U.S. app stores.

What are creators saying about a potential TikTok ban?

Artist Ben Stanley told Business Insider that if TikTok is banned, his art business will “shrivel up and die.” 

“Should TikTok be banned, my business won’t be able to sustain itself because I don’t have the same kind of following anywhere else,” he said. “So I would essentially be unemployed again, which would be a massive strain on my health as well as my wife and son on the way.”

Another TikToker, Jade, posted a screenshot of their 17,600 followers and 1 million likes over on X and wrote: “This is what I’m losing with the #TikTokBan. 3 years of progress. 17.6k followers. Job opportunities. Potential income.”

Creator Austin Webrink added: “Over 135 million users use TikTok in America, if they ban it that would be absolutely insane. Along with creators who are building their own individual brands and identity.”

What’s next for the bill?

The next step is for President Joe Biden to sign the law officially. Speaking to AP reporters on March 8, Biden said: “If they pass it, I’ll sign it.”

As for TikTok’s next move, an internal memo accessed by the Information suggests that the company will take the matter to court on the grounds that banning TikTok violates Americans’ First Amendment rights. 

Update, March 24, 2024, 11:30am CT: President Biden has signed the bill into law. TikTok must sell its assets to a U.S. buyer by Jan. 19, 2025. Otherwise, U.S. app stores must ban the app. The bill is likely to be challenged in court — click here to learn more.

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