Social Media

What to know about TikTok’s fate in the US

A group of protesters gathers in front of the US Capitol building, holding signs that support TikTok.

TikTok’s future in the US has perhaps never been in more doubt than it is right now. Since its introduction to the US in 2018, the short-form video app has been fighting increased scrutiny from US lawmakers about its ties to ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns it.

Concerns that ByteDance could share TikTok user data with China’s government and push disinformation or propaganda through its recommendation algorithm have resulted in partial and mostly symbolic bans. (There’s no evidence, at least not publicly, that this kind of sharing has ever happened.) Most recently, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to pass a bill that could eventually lead to a ban of the app. There’s a parallel set of concerns that TikTok is dangerous to children and teens, an issue with many social media platforms, that’s been taken up by Congress in the past year. Some states have been eyeing bans of social media platforms in general for kids unless they have parental consent.

The Biden administration has demanded that TikTok’s Chinese owners, ByteDance, divest or sell off their stake in the company. That would take the potential Chinese threat out of the equation entirely — but only if ByteDance and China agree to it. 

Follow here for all of Vox’s coverage about TikTok’s fate in the US.

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