A group of TikTok users and lawmakers gathered in front of the Congress building in the capital, Washington.
Deputy Jamaal Bowman, New York Representative in the House of Representatives, said in a statement here that 150 million Americans use TikTok, and as many as 5 million small businesses sell their products and services through the application in question.
Bowman, arguing that TikTok is not the only platform that poses a problem in social media, touched upon the allegations that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential elections in the USA via Facebook.
Noting that racism and xenophobia should not be committed against China, Bowman said, “From the January 6 Congressional raid to the genocide in Myanmar, American social media companies were used to facilitate evil in a serious way.” said.
Bowman argued that former President Donald Trump “used Twitter to provoke the January 6 Congressional raid.”
MP Marc Pocan also pointed to freedom of expression and said that it is not right to focus only on TikTok in concerns about data.
TikTok users also talked about the benefits of the platform and argued that it should not be banned.
TikTok CEO to testify in Congress today
TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew will answer questions from lawmakers about the platform in Congress today.
In the USA, on February 28, 30 days were given for the implementation of the TikTok ban on all federally owned phones.
Many government agencies, including the White House, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department, had banned TikTok without waiting for a vote in Congress in December 2022.
The US Senate unanimously passed the bill on December 15, 2022, which bans federal government employees from downloading TikTok to state-owned devices due to “national security concerns”.
On December 28, 2022, the US House of Representatives banned the download and use of the TikTok application on official devices used by its members and employees.
Many states have passed similar laws banning the use of TikTok, including Maryland, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Indiana, and Texas.