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March 8, 2024

Teenagers Threaten Suicide, Assassinations to Congress Over Potential TikTok Ban

In response to a bipartisan bill introduced in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, TikTok's parent company ByteDance issued notifications to users, urging them to "speak out."

The bill, introduced by Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher and his Democratic counterpart Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, would compel ByteDance to divest from TikTok or potentially face a ban of the social media platform in the United States.

The US House Energy and Commerce Committee voted Thursday afternoon to approve the legislation in a 50-0 vote, Reuters reported.

"Stop a TikTok shutdown," the notification reads. "Congress is planning a total ban of TikTok. Speak up now–before the government strips 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression."

TikTok warned that a ban would harm businesses, creators, and audiences, urging users to voice their opposition to Congress.

The notification also directs users to input their zip code to obtain the contact information for their local representatives.

According to Spectator reporter Matthew Foldi, users of the platform, including children, have made threatening calls to their local representatives.

The Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act aims to prevent foreign adversaries, such as China, from targeting Americans through online applications like TikTok.

The bill explicitly identifies ByteDance and TikTok as "foreign adversary-controlled applications" due to their ties to the Chinese Community Party.

In a statement to The Hill, TikTok spokesperson Alex Haurek argued that the bill amounted to "an outright ban of TikTok, no matter how much the authors try to disguise it." He claimed the legislation would infringe on the First Amendment rights of 170 million Americans and harm small businesses.

The bill is scheduled to be reviewed by members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday afternoon.

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