Interest groups are fighting back against the TikTok ban

Fight for the Future (FFTF), a digital rights group, launched a campaign to urge Congress not to ban TikTok after the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed legislation that would allow President Joe Biden to do exactly that to do that.

The #DontBanTikTok campaign “explains why efforts to ban TikTok are frivolous and distract from political priorities,” the group said in a release.

“If it weren’t so alarming, it would be hilarious that US politicians are trying to ‘crack down on China’ by acting exactly like the Chinese government,” FFTF Director Evan Greer said in the release.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday passed legislation that would give Biden the power to ban TikTok, highlighting statements by Democrats calling TikTok dangerous and urging them to join the effort.

Fight for the Future said Congress is trying to appeal to anti-Chinese sentiment in the country, but banning the app is “deeply counterproductive” and is moving the country “away from online safety and human rights, not there.”

The campaign launched earlier this week and voters can sign a petition asking their representatives to pledge not to ban the popular social media app.

Fight for the Future is not the only advocacy group opposed to the proposed legislation.

Yesterday, after the legislation left committee, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a letter condemning the Foreign Affairs Committee for voting to pass the bill.

“We are disappointed that the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted to pass a bill that would effectively ban TikTok in the United States, which violates Americans’ rights under the First Amendment,” said Jenna Leventoff, senior Policy Counsel at ACLU, in a press release. “We urge lawmakers to vote no on this vague, overly broad and unconstitutional bill.”

Similarly, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) civil liberties director David Greene told the National Journal that “anything that has the effect of preventing Americans from using TikTok must survive First Amendment review.”

Greene explained on Twitter, Add to that if the US knows that TikTok is a “route to Chinese access to US user data,” they must prove it and address it appropriately with the ban, or it fails the First Amendment test.

However, the bill still has hurdles to overcome. It must pass a vote of the entire House of Representatives and the Democrat-controlled Senate before it reaches Biden, who has commented non-binding on banning the app.


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*Initial publication: March 2, 2023 11:07 am CST

Jacob Seitz

Jacob Seitz is a freelance journalist originally from Columbus, Ohio, interested in the intersection of culture and politics.

Jacob Seitz Interest groups are fighting back against the TikTok ban

Jaclyn Diaz

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