Heritage backs bill banning TikTok

Heritage Action — the advocacy arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank — revealed Monday it is backing a bill that would potentially ban TikTok in the United States.

“Heritage Action SUPPORTS the bipartisan Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act. This bill will protect Americans from the influence of the CCP through TikTok,” the group wrote on social media, using an acronym for the Chinese Communist Party.

The House is set to vote on a bill this week that would force ByteDance — the China-based parent company of TikTok — to divest itself of the video app or face a ban on the platform in the U.S. The bill, sponsored by Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), advanced out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee with unanimous support on Thursday.

Heritage Action’s support of the legislation comes as Republicans appear divided on whether they would support the bill.

“This bill prioritizes addressing the uniquely threatening conduct, influence, and structure of TikTok — not the content posted by Americans that the application hosts. Members of Congress have a duty to safeguard America’s social fabric and protect citizens from the whims of an adversary nation — especially young people most vulnerable to manipulation,” the group said in a statement.

“H.R. 7521 represents an important step in limiting the CCP’s growing infiltration and exploitation of Americans. A vote against this measure is a vote in support of continued Chinese surveillance of U.S. citizens,” the group wrote.

Former President Trump said over the weekend that he opposed the bill despite previously supporting a ban on the video-sharing platform while he was in office. FreedomWorks, a political advocacy group aligned with the Freedom Caucus, said it opposed the bill in a statement earlier Monday.

“It’s also clear that some Americans have become addicted to the hits of dopamine that come with the instant gratification of social media,” Adam Brandon, FreedomWorks president, said in a statement.

“We’re frustrated by the state of political discourse in the United States, but we’re also fortunate to live in a free society where we can express our views. There’s always going to be excess with freedom. We believe parents should police their kids’ online activity, including their exposure to social media, not Congress or regulators,” Brandon said.

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