New TikTok Ban Passes House Vote

TikTok once again faces a potential ban.

A new measure threatening to ban TikTok  passed a vote in the House on Saturday. The legislation in question threatens to ban the social media app from use in the United States unless TikTok owner ByteDance elects to divest the platform. This new, updated bill will now move onto the Senate where it'll be voted on there as part of a larger bill encompassing foreign aid. The bipartisan support for the new TikTok bill exhibited in the House follows speculation from earlier in the week that a vote on this bill might've been coming up much sooner than expected.

As those who've been keeping up with the TikTok legislation sagas may recall, a previous push to ban the app in the United States was approved in the House back in March after a 352-65 vote. After that unusual display of support from both Republicans and Democrats, the bill moved to the Senate, but it faced issues there amid longstanding disagreements over tech legislation.

Now, the updated bill looking to ban TikTok has been bundled with other actions in a larger bill including aid for Israel and Ukraine. In doing so, the overall bill will have to be looked at differently since any actions taken for or against the TikTok ban will impact those attempts at foreign aid as well. The new vote passed 360-58 in a similar display compared to last time with a few more in support of it this time around.

Will TikTok Get Banned?

The last TikTok ban passed in March made waves for two main reasons: it was an instance of focused tech legislation that actually seemed possible given the support, and it received the unprecedented bipartisan support from those in the House. But both of those instances are true for this time as well, so will it actually get banned?

That's up to the Senate next, and as mentioned previously, the way the new bill is packaged does at least make it seem more likely that it gets passed even if it's not going to move quite as quickly as it did through the House. After that, there's still a chance that it might not get banned anyway since the action will inevitably be challenged by ByteDance, the Chinese company that's already lobbied against these measures while attracting support from TikTok users by saying it'll continue to advocate for them.

Even if everything goes through and ByteDance's challenges fail, TikTok could still survive in the United States if ByteDance divests the platform. The previous legislation passed in March would've given ByteDance six months to do so, but the updated bill doubles that by allowing for 12 months instead. 

While you may dislike certain trends or habits encouraged and created by TikTok, it's ByteDance itself that's been the reason why people are pushing to ban TikTok. ByteDance's relationship with the Chinese government has had officials worried about China's potential access to user data from those in the United States if the country ever directs ByteDance to hand over that information, though TikTok has denied that it's shared anything of the sort.