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TikTok is grappling with a battle over free speech as a U.S. bill moves forward

TikTok (Ryan Parker/Getty Images)

TikTok expressed worries about free speech after the House of Representatives approved a bill that would ban the app in the U.S. unless its Chinese owner, ByteDance, sells its stake within a year.

The legislation, supported by both parties, raises concerns about national security due to possible data sharing with China.

With strong support in the House, the bill now moves to the Senate, where President Biden has indicated he would sign it.

There are concerns that TikTok’s large user base, including 170 million Americans, could be exploited by foreign entities, leading to swift legislative action.

TikTok criticized the bill, saying it threatens free speech, echoing earlier concerns about similar laws.

Despite TikTok’s assurances that it hasn’t shared U.S. data, bipartisan concerns remain, highlighted by Senator Mark Warner warning about potential Chinese propaganda.

Protestors holding the boards (Brady Jones/Getty Images)

Critics question the effectiveness of the bill, with the Knight First Amendment Institute pointing out loopholes that could allow data exploitation through other means.

Some Democrats call for stronger data privacy laws and doubt the legal feasibility of the ban.

The bill’s approval in the House shows growing bipartisan agreement on TikTok’s national security risks, with Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell expressing support.

As the debate heats up, TikTok’s future is uncertain, reflecting broader concerns about regulating technology and protecting free speech.

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