Mitch McConnell Backs TikTok Legislation

Mitch McConnell Backs TikTok Legislation

( – TikTok has become one of the most popular social media platforms, with more than 100 million people using it in the United States alone. However, national security concerns exist because its parent company, ByteDance, is in China. Congress has introduced legislation to force ByteDance to sell the app. If it can’t sell it in the prescribed timeframe, the legislation would ban the platform outright. One Congressional leader is on board with the move.

On Monday, April 8, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made it clear on the Senate floor that he supports the measure that would force ByteDance to sell TikTok. He said China treats the platform “as a tool of surveillance and propaganda,” and everyone’s data is at risk. The Senate leader is asking Congress to take action and said he would “support commonsense, bipartisan steps” to remove “one of Beijing’s favorite tools of coercion and espionage.”

McConnell insisted that China had become involved from the very beginning. Additionally, he claimed, “TikTok’s algorithm pours gasoline on alarming trends.” To make his point, he pointed to the sympathy Hamas has garnered among the young faction and users “discover[ing] the wisdom of Osama bin Laden” last year.

When it comes to the First Amendment, McConnell said the US is “within established constitutional precedent” to force divestment because it’s a matter of conduct, not content.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has said he wants to prioritize TikTok legislation on his agenda to complete it before the November elections. But, despite having it on his list of things to do, he hasn’t yet forced the issue to the Senate floor.

Lawmakers have expressed mixed reactions to the legislation. Some are on board with the move, saying that national security must come first, while others are calling the proposed legislation a violation of Constitutional rights. TikTok has posted ads urging users to take action, speak to their local and Congressional lawmakers, and make their voices heard on the matter.

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