On Wednesday (March 13) the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of a bill that aims to ban TikTok.

According to CNBC, the bill passed due to a 352-65 vote.

The Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act was introduced by Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin and Democrat Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois on March 5.

The outlet reported that two days later, a unanimous vote from House members on the Energy and Commerce Committee approved the bill.

READ MORE: What to Know About the Latest Bill Threatening to Ban TikTok

Notably, despite claiming that he would sign the bill, President Joe Biden created an official TikTok account in February 2024 as part of his reelection campaign.

Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union have strongly opposed the bill – along with a few Representatives such as Maxwell Frost, America's first Gen-Z House member – noting that they believe it violates the First Amendment when it comes to free speech.

CNBC reported that House members claim that it "does not ban TikTok," but a spokesperson for TikTok said, "This process was secret and the bill was jammed through for one reason: it’s a ban. We are hopeful that the Senate will consider the facts, listen to their constituents, and realize the impact on the economy, 7 million small businesses, and the 170 million Americans who use our service."

Why Do They Want to Ban TikTok?

The legislation apparently calls the popular social media app a "threat to national security" because it is owned by a "foreign adversary," per CNBC.

Some American lawmakers allege that TikTok and its parent company have ties to the Chinese Communist Party. However, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew has vehemently denied the claims in previous U.S. Senate hearings.

TikTok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese tech company.

Does This Mean TikTok Will Really Be Banned?

Per CNBC, the bill still has to go through the Senate, where legislators are reportedly divided on the issue.

If it then passes in the Senate, the bill would require ByteDance to divest TikTok within six months in order for U.S. citizens to still have access to the app. Otherwise, app stores such as Apple and Google will be forced to remove the app from their platforms.

Previous attempts to ban TikTok in the U.S. were fruitless, including former president Donald Trump's efforts in 2020. At the time, Microsoft was in talks with ByteDance to purchase TikTok, but the deal fell through.

Interestingly, after Trump's attempt failed, the Biden administration revoked the order.

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Gallery Credit: Erica Russell

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