Donald Trump calls TikTok a threat but says some kids could go ‘crazy’ without it

US presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Monday that TikTok is a national security threat, but he also said that a ban on the popular app would harm some children and would strengthen the platform META.O Facebook, which is controlled by Republicans Has strongly criticized.

Trump reiterated his concerns as lawmakers consider a bill this week that would give TikTok owner ByteDance about six months to sell the popular short video app.

The US House of Representatives is set to vote Wednesday on legislation that gives China’s ByteDance an accelerated deadline to sell the popular TikTok short video app used by 170 million Americans.

“I’m not thinking about doubling the size of Facebook,” Trump told CNBC on Monday. “And if you ban TikTok, (then) Facebook and others, but mostly Facebook, will be a big beneficiary. And I think Facebook has been very dishonest.”

Meta Platform shares were down 3.8% at $486.71 on Monday afternoon. The company declined to comment.

Trump had previously criticized the company, called Meta Platform, for revoking his access to Facebook and Instagram after he removed two of his posts during the US Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. His accounts were restored in February 2023.

Trump also said that the ban on TikTok could affect the youth. “There are a lot of little kids on TikTok who would go crazy without it,” he said. “There’s a lot of good and a lot of bad about TikTok.”

President Joe Biden said last week that he would sign the bill after a committee unanimously approved the measure.

TikTok, which says it has not and will not share US user data with the Chinese government, argues that the House bill amounts to a ban. It is unclear whether China will approve a sale or whether TikTok could be divested within six months.

“This legislation has a predetermined outcome: a complete ban on TikTok in the United States,” the company said Friday. “The government is attempting to strip 170 million Americans of their constitutional right to free speech.”

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said, “We must ensure that the Chinese government cannot weaponize TikTok against American users and our government through data collection and propaganda.”

This bill will give ByteDance 165 days to sell TikTok. If it fails to do so, app stores operated by Apple AAPL.O , Alphabet’s GOOGL.O Google and others could not legally offer TikTok or provide web hosting services to ByteDance-controlled applications. Are.

In 2020, Trump sought to ban TikTok and Chinese-owned WeChat, but courts blocked it.

The app is popular and it could be difficult to get legislation approved by both the House and Senate in an election year. Last month, TikTok joined Biden’s re-election campaign.

Trump’s campaign has not joined TikTok.

published by:

Rishabh Sharma

Published on:

March 11, 2024

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