Senator Hawley Calls to Ban TikTok Nationwide

On January 24, 2023, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., unveiled legislation on Wednesday to ban the popular social media app TikTok in the U.S., citing threats to children’s privacy and mental health. Senator Hawley took to Twitter to share his bill, which aims to cut off TikTok’s Chinese backdoor into the lives of Americans. He declared that it endangers our children’s privacy and mental health.

Senator Hawley provided reporters with an in-depth understanding of his bill, which includes prohibiting the use of TikTok and requiring a thorough report explaining its potential threat to national security and association with China’s Communist Party. Additionally, he stated that he would be willing to consider any other type of ban against this app.

Recently, President Joe Biden implemented a law that barred TikTok and its Chinese-based parent organization ByteDance from use on executive branch devices. This restriction does not extend to members of Congress or their personnel, so this new measure has been put into place to ensure the security of all government data.

In response to the potential security risks posed by TikTok, Catherine L. Szpindor, the Chief Administrative Officer of the House, promptly enforced a policy that prohibits lawmakers and staff from downloading or using it on any House-issued phones. Even though no similar action has been taken in the Senate yet, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida presented a bill that would ban this app should it pass.

Senator Rubio has proposed a bill to protect Americans from overseas spies who can employ social media platforms for spying and fake news campaigns. Furthermore, this measure will enable the president to levy sanctions on such apps and their parent companies to stop commercial activities within the United States.

This bill has been introduced due to mounting worries from authorities regarding the possible hazardous effects of TikTok, such as FBI Director Christopher Wray, who cautioned legislators last month that users’ devices could be taken advantage of for manipulation or espionage activities by way of the Chinese government.

Numerous states have taken drastic measures to limit access to TikTok on government-owned tools and networks. Many public universities have further avoided the app by prohibiting its use on school laptops, cell phones, and Wi-Fi connections.

Senator Hawley strongly believes that action must be taken to protect American children from the potential security threats of using TikTok. With this bill, he hopes to spark a meaningful conversation and create a safer online environment for our nation’s youth. This crucial step towards safeguarding our young people should be noticed to ensure their safety truly.

If passed, this bill would have to be reintroduced when the current congressional session ends. Senator Hawley implored legislators of both political parties to support his effort to protect American citizens from foreign surveillance activities and influence campaigns by prohibiting access to TikTok on a national level.

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