Senator Josh Hawley Introduces Bill to Ban TikTok in United States

Photo from Sen. Josh Hawley’s Instagram

Senator Josh Hawley Introduces Bill to Ban TikTok in United States

By Movieguide® Contributor

Senator Josh Hawley announced that he will introduce legislation that would ban TikTok in the United States due to the national security and mental health threats it poses to American citizens.

“TikTok is China’s backdoor into Americans’ lives. It threatens our children’s privacy as well as their mental health. Now I will introduce legislation to ban it nationwide,” the Missouri senator wrote in a January 24 tweet.

Movieguide® has previously reported on the devastating impact TikTok has had on children. Minors are frequently exposed to explicit content, drug usage and trends such as the deadly “blackout challenge” while using the app.

Hawley explained how his bill would prevent more children from being damaged by the content they see on TikTok.

“What my bill does is it specifically goes after TikTok—it bans it,” Hawley told Capitol Hill reporters.

“It doesn’t ban any other app, but it also requires a comprehensive report to Congress on the national security threat” the app poses and its relationship to the Chinese Communist Party, he added.

TikTok, owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, has come under Hawley’s scrutiny in the past as he believes it poses a “major security risk” to the United States.

Fox Business reports that the senator “was the chief author of the No TikTok on Government Devices Act, which was enacted last year and prohibits the use of TikTok on government-issued devices.”

“TikTok is a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party. It’s a major security risk to the United States, and until it is forced to sever ties with China completely, it has no place on government devices,” Hawley said in a statement at the time.

TikTok spokeswoman Brooke Oberwetter pushed back against Hawley’s claims, saying that the ban “takes a piecemeal approach to national security and a piecemeal approach to broad industry issues like data security, privacy and online harms.”

“We hope that he will focus his energies on efforts to address those issues holistically, rather than pretending that banning a single service would solve any of the problems he’s concerned about or make Americans any safer,” she added.

However, Hawley responded that TikTok allows “the Chinese Communist Party to gain unprecedented access to Americans’ data and lives, posing a unique threat to our children’s privacy. It should be banned nationwide.”

Movieguide® has previously reported on TikTok’s destructive impact on children’s spiritual, physical and mental health.

Several state attorneys general recently launched an investigation into the video-sharing app TikTok and its alleged connection to users’ poor mental health.

California, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Vermont led the investigation after a recent concern over the harmful effects of social media on young users and a lack of accountability of major tech companies.

“Our children are growing up in the age of social media — and many feel like they need to measure up to the filtered versions of reality that they see on their screens,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a news release. “We know this takes a devastating toll on children’s mental health and well-being.”

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