Trump against TikTok Ban over Empowering Facebook

Mar 11, 2024

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump does not support a ban on the viral Chinese social networking app TikTok. The fierce politician has opposed such a move, insisting that it will only enrich Facebook, which faces stiff competition from the viral networking app.

Trump Facebook Stalemate

In an era where antitrust issues are always rife, Trump insists that banning TikTok will only empower Facebook. Of concern is that Facebook will end up wielding too much power. Facebook was one of the apps that ended up banning Trump in the aftermath of the 2020 insurrection at Capitol Hill.

The Republican politician is concerned that the networking app would significantly influence the upcoming election if it is left to operate as a monopoly with the banning of TikTok in the US. According to Trump, Facebook, given its sheer size, has been very bad for the country, especially regarding elections.

It comes as a surprise that Trump is echoing support for TikTok, given his stance against the company from when he was president between 2017 and 2020. During his tenure, he tried to remove the app from all US app stores. After failing in this effort, he ordered ByteDance to divest all its US operations within 90 days.

At one point, the push attracted interest from Microsoft, which sought to acquire TikTok US business. However, no deal ever came to fruition, even as the software giant sought to expand its footprint into the lucrative social networking space with the viral video platform.

TikTok Security Concerns

Nevertheless, Trump has also acknowledged the concerns around national security that TikTok poses, given its close ties to China. TikTok is owned by Chinese internet giant ByteDance, which raises serious concerns about US user data privacy and security.

Even though TikTok insists on the safeguards it has put in place to protect people’s data and privacy, there are always concerns that it would have no choice but to share data with Beijing when instructed. The Chinese National Intelligence Law of 2017 mandates all organizations and citizens with bases in the country to share data when required, cooperate, or assist with state intelligence work.

TikTok CEO Shou Zip Chew has always refuted the security concerns, insisting that the government only tries to strip 170 Americans of their constitutional right. The executive also insists that any ban will only damage millions of businesses and deny artists an audience they badly need while also destroying the livelihoods of countless creators across the country.

Amid the national security concern, US lawmakers have been putting pressure on TikTok with a series of legislations. Some of the legislation proposes the divestiture of   TikTok by ByteDance. Some lawmakers have been pushing for a full ban on the social networking app in the US. President Joe Biden has reiterated his stance, insisting he is more than ready to sign any bill that proposes a complete ban on the app.

Despite a push to ban TikTok, it remains a valuable tool heading into the next election, even for Biden. He has already made his debut in the popular social media app as part of a reelection campaign. Biden has used the app given its ability to reach the masses of young potential voters who are shunning mainstream media.

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