Here's what TikTok ban could mean for users, businesses ahead of Congress vote

ByDustin Dorsey KGO logo
Wednesday, March 13, 2024
Here's what TikTok ban could mean for users, businesses
Here's what a U.S. TikTok ban could mean for users and businesses ahead of the Congress vote.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The clock may be ticking for TikTok.

A new bill would force the social media app's Chinese-based parent company, ByteDance to divest in TikTok, or face a U.S. ban.

Tech expert Ahmed Banafa said this could ultimately cripple the app that has 170 million U.S. users - more than any other country in the world.

So it's a critical problem.

MORE: Is TikTok getting banned? House panel unanimously approves bill for nationwide ban

"It doesn't mean that they're going to go to the phones of every single user and uninstall it," Banafa said. "The government will ask Apple and Google to remove it from their app stores. So if there's no more update, the app itself is going to become outdated and become less attractive and it's going to die out over time."

This is not the first time the app has faced a ban.

In 2020, an executive order from President Donald Trump was ultimately blocked by the courts.

This time, TikTok is fighting back. The app is calling on its users to reach out to their local congressmember to fight the ban.

MORE: Supreme Court appears divided on landmark cases that could upend what we see on social media

If TikTok is banned, it would be a huge blow to businesses and content creators like San Jose's Adam Juratovac.

"It allows you to find people who are like-minded with yourself, but also allow you to search for different opinions and different locations," Juratovac said. "So, this ban would actually impact a lot of small American businesses. This ban would actually impact a lot of content creators who are building their careers using the TikTok platform."

Juratovac is not only a content creator, but also a lawyer.

He understands the concern for Congress is exploitation of TikTok user data, including video history, user location, even user estimated income.

MORE: TikTok has your data even if you've never used the app: Report

But he thinks the government needs to worry about constitutional rights.

"They have to follow the U.S. Constitution and when it comes to restricting the Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment," Juratovac said. "There are very specific particularities that the government has to prove in order to infringe on that speech or infringe on that right."

On Wednesday, the bill will face a house vote.

Next would be the Senate, then President Biden who has said he will sign it immediately should it reach his desk.

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