TikTok is urging users to call Congress about a looming ban

bnew

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TikTok is urging users to call Congress about a looming ban​


A push notification warns that the move ‘strips 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression.’​


By Mia Sato, platforms and communities reporter with five years of experience covering the companies that shape technology and the people who use their tools.

Mar 7, 2024, 11:27 AM EST

3 Comments

A TikTok logo surrounded by jazzy lines and colorful accents
STK051_VRG_Illo_N_Barclay_5_tiktok.jpg

Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge

As support grows for a bill in Congress that would effectively ban TikTok in the US, the video platform is trying to rally support among a key group: its own users.

TikTok sent users in the US a push notification on Wednesday, warning that “Congress is planning a total ban of TikTok” that would “[strip] 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression.” The page says that a ban would “damage millions of businesses, destroy the livelihoods of countless creators across the country, and deny artists an audience.” The alert includes a way for users to find their representative and call their office.


IMG_6740.png
A TikTok screen reading, “Stop a TikTok shutdown,” and a prompt for users to call their member of Congress and urge them to vote no.

Screenshot: Mia Sato / The Verge

The notification comes shortly after the White House expressed support for a bipartisan bill directed at TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. The bill — called the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act — is in response to the perceived national security risks of TikTok, particularly around how the company collects user data. The bill would require that TikTok break off from ByteDance or risk being removed from app stores in the US.

This isn’t the first bill of its kind; some members of Congress have been trying to ban the app for years. Some city and state governments have banned TikTok from being installed on government devices, and last year Montana became the first state to actually ban the app — though that ban was blocked by a judge and is currently making its way through the courts. If passed, the new bill — which the American Civil Liberties Union argues would violate the First Amendment — will likely face legal challenges as well.

TikTok has previously appealed to its users as political pressure has mounted. In 2023, as support for a different bill was gaining steam, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew appeared in a video posted to the official TikTok profile to warn users and ask them to essentially sound off in the comments. TikTok didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about the push notification and what other efforts it has planned in response to the newest bill.
 
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Seoul Gleou

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congress has been absolutely fukking useless for so fukking long

this may actually be the one thing that wakes people up to its ineptitude

facebook has been literally proven to influence the american elections via russia; nothing has happened to meta

as we speak, google is taking our data, buying and selling it to whoever the fukk it wants; no ban for youtube or gmail

if congress bans tik tok, it will actually piss off almost half the country. look how people reacted to facebook just being DOWN for an hour or two. what will they do when they are told their time wasting app will be fully banned
 

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1/2
BREAKING: TikTok appears to be prompting users to call their representatives to tell them to stop a TikTok shutdown.

Apparently phones in congressional offices are getting flooded.

2/2
Credit to @Olivia_Beavers for bringing this to our attention.

Worth noting that we've seen ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, spending millions of dollars on lobbying.
GIFRZsWX0AIS1VH.jpg
 

Vandelay

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They can't control the narrative on tiktok. 80% of users pro palestine. Them zionists throwing their weight around.


bezos don't want tiktok shop to compete with amazon

Sad day for our freedom
I was of the mindset 2-3 years ago TikTok was a net negative, honestly I still do, but it was moreso because I thought it was allowing for foreign state-sanctioned propaganda. Which honestly I still think...

But I'm realizing the coalition against it is more because of the anti-zionist movement and the tech cartels protecting their hegemony than anything China/Russia/Iran are explicitly doing.
 

Scustin Bieburr

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Fukk gun control, reparations, Gaza, marijuana legalization, housing...but don't take my TikTok :mjlol:

Fukk TikTok, shut it down and make kids go outside and do stuff, get a job.
I think you missed the part where tiktok is where most young people learned about all those things you just mentioned.

Or the part where tik tok videos posted by Israeli war criminals are being saved by users so they can be used as evidence of that government's actions.

I hate tik tok as much as the next person, but the solution isn't to ban the app, it's to ban its ability to collect and store user data while selling it to data brokers whose customers are advertising firms and governments posing as third parties.

These are issues that are far out of the depth of the average elected official. They're too busy thinking about how they can pretend to work while leeching off our tax dollars instead of actually resolving problems they were elected to fix.
 
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I think you missed the part where tiktok is where most young people learned about all those things you just mentioned.

Or the part where tik tok videos posted by Israeli war criminals are being saved by users so they can be used as evidence of that government's actions.

I hate tik tok as much as the next person, but the solution isn't to ban the app, it's to ban its ability to collect and store user data while selling it to data brokers whose customers are advertising firms and governments posing as third parties.

These are issues that are far out of the depth of the average elected official. They're too busy thinking about how they can pretend to work while leeching off our tax dollars instead of actually resolving problems they were elected to fix.
He didn’t miss it, he’s just a fukking retard who doesn’t care.

Banning Facebook would do far more
Good than banning tik tok
 

Sly Cookin

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I was of the mindset 2-3 years ago TikTok was a net negative, honestly I still do, but it was moreso because I thought it was allowing for foreign state-sanctioned propaganda. Which honestly I still think...

But I'm realizing the coalition against it is more because of the anti-zionist movement and the tech cartels protecting their hegemony than anything China/Russia/Iran are explicitly doing.
If it were truly about the data, they wouldn't be selling Facebook data to China😂

My feed literally has no Russian or China propaganda :why:
 
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