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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The new measures to ban TikTok in the United States are expected and drastic

If+the+bill+eventually+gets+passed%2C+there+is+a+good+chance+that+TikTok+will+be+banned+in+the+United+States.
If the bill eventually gets passed, there is a good chance that TikTok will be banned in the United States.

Not for the first time, the extremely popular short-form video app TikTok is under pressure from the United States government. For the past year, European, Canadian, and American lawmakers have been doubling down in their efforts to place bans and restrictions on the app. TikTok is owned by the Chinese parent company ByteDance, and the call for restricted access to it is based on security concerns.

In February 2023, the app was removed from all government devices and since then, various cities have barred government officials from downloading the app onto their phones. One month later, House lawmakers spent almost five hours interrogating the chief executive of TikTok, Shou Chew, about the app’s relationship with ByteDance, China, and the possible influence of the Chinese government over the app.

For those months in 2023, the threat of a possible total ban of TikTok in the United States—along with other Western countries—seemed like a highly probable outcome of the situation. However, with the ban of TikTok on government devices, the initial threat of the app seemed to have been eased, and the whole ordeal was forgotten.

It wasn’t until over a year later that the issue was again brought to court, and this time the app and its owners are facing much more severe ultimatums than they’ve experienced in the past. In early March, the House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced a bill that called for TikTok to cut all ties with its parent company or face a complete ban of the app in America. With a house vote of 352-65 and a White House endorsement, the bill got passed along to the Senate, where its prospects remain unclear for the time being.

Of all the attempts to ban or restrict access to TikTok in the past, this bill has so far been the most successful, but there are still many more steps that need to be taken before it is officially passed.

Of all the attempts to ban or restrict access to TikTok in the past, this bill has so far been the most successful, but there are still many more steps that need to be taken before it is officially passed. After the first step of the House passing the bill, the Senate also needs to vote in favor of it becoming a law. Federal lawmakers have stated that the bill will undergo a thorough review. There are still many steps left to be taken before the bill is passed, and it is far from guaranteed to do so.

Between tensions in Western nations against TikTok and the already strained relationship between the United States and China, the House vote in favor of the bill increased tension between the two. Lawmakers are targeting TikTok because of its threat to national security, but by doing so, they are also singling out a platform that is immensely popular with millions of Americans—many of whom tend to be younger—mere months before the 2024 presidential election.

However, it seems that American officials have decided to opt on the side of national security and put up with the consequent public outrage at the possible loss of the app. Lawmakers and regulators in the West have become increasingly wary of the app and its parent companies’ ability to put sensitive information in the hands of the Chinese government.

Chinese laws that allow the government to secretly demand data from Chinese companies and citizens for intelligence-gathering operations only add to the fear of Western officials. American lawmakers are also afraid of China’s ability to mutilate the recommended content fed to users; they do not want China to spread misinformation throughout the United States without their control.

Although the bill is still far from being passed and made into a law, it is easily the most successful attempt at reducing and eliminating public use of the app in the United States so far. Tensions between the United States and Chinese governments in regard to national security, including TikTok, have been growing steadily over the past few years, and this bill may finally be the catalyst for a total ban in the United States.

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About the Contributor
Evelyn Alt
Evelyn Alt, Copy Editor
Evelyn is a sophomore entering her second year on The Central Trend. Outside of school, she enjoys reading and hanging out with her friends. Her other interests include playing with her cat, Minerva, and going to Barnes and Noble with her sister, Millie. She is excited for another year writing on The Central Trend staff and looking forward to everything in her future. Favorite color: red Favorite food: anything chocolate Favorite season: Summer Favorite books: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab and If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio  

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