The TikTok Situation Is a Mess | Laptop News


If you like TikTok, you are not alone. There are a billion of you using the app right now, 170 million of which alone are Americans. Many of those millions are, of course, concerned and angry about the bill the House passed this week that could ban the app in the United States. While the bill’s fate in the Senate is uncertain, were it to pass, President Biden says he’ll sign. And unless parent company ByteDance manages to sell the app within six months of that signing, we’ll be saying goodbye to TikTok in the U.S.

I am sympathetic to anyone upset at the prospect of losing their favorite app. But we need to take a step back here: Whether it’s lawmakers cracking down on the app, or TikTok fighting for its life, the situation is getting out of control and weird. And whatever happens here, I’m not convinced it’s going to be good.

Congress is a bunch of out-of-touch hypocrites

Let’s not beat around the bush here: Congress is not handling this situation well at all.

Yes, lawmakers are concerned about the security implications of a massively popular app driven by a powerful algorithm that is controlled by a Chinese-based company. They’re worried about how the app is addicting to American children, and what influence it may have on them. But good lord: Can we act like adults here?

The first example that comes to mind is, of course, Sen. Tom Cotton. Even if you don’t know who Sen. Cotton is, you’ve seen his infamous questioning of TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew. Sen. Cotton was adamantly questioning Shou Zi Chew’s ties to China, drilling him about whether or not he was ever a member of the Chinese Communist Party—despite Chew’s repeated confirmation that he was, indeed, a citizen of Singapore, not China. Shou Zi Chew’s response, “Senator, I’m Singaporean. No,” is now a meme…

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