United States senator Josh Hawley has announced plans to introduce a bill that would ban TikTok nationwide. In a Tweet published today, the Republican from Missouri addressed the current ban from government devices, while pushing for a complete ban for all United States citizens. As of this writing, the bill has not been introduced, and it's unclear exactly how much support it would see among Hawley's fellow senators on both sides of the aisle.
On Twitter, Hawley wrote that TikTok "is China's backdoor into Americans' lives. It threatens our children's privacy as well as their mental health. Last month Congress banned it on all government devices. Now I will introduce legislation to ban it nationwide."
While the TikTok ban on government devices would be much easier to enforce, it's hard to say what kind of public support a nationwide ban would have. TikTok has proven to be one of the fastest growing social media platforms, and many Twitter users have already taken Hawley to task over the potential infringement on their freedoms. While Hawley mentions the impact on children's "mental health," he does not mention the impact of other social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. A case can certainly be made regarding the connection between social media and the mental health of minors, but Hawley does not mention those platforms in his remarks.
TikTok launched in China back in 2016, and in international markets one year later. Over the last six years, the platform has seen incredible growth, with more than 2 billion downloads worldwide. The company's Chinese roots have drawn skepticism from government officials such as former president Donald Trump. Despite this, the platform continues to thrive, and has seen partnerships with a number of companies, including the NFL. How those partnerships would be impacted remains to be seen, but any potential ban would likely take a significant amount of time before taking effect.
Do you think that a TikTok ban will see wide support from the senate? Do you think that the bill would see nationwide support? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter and on Hive at @Marcdachamp to talk all things gaming!