Stop a TikTok ShutDown

amnaj/AdobeStock (Licensed)

TikTok launches app-wide ad blitz ahead of congressional vote on ban

TikTok is pushing users to call Congress.


Mikael Thalen


Posted on Mar 7, 2024   Updated on Mar 7, 2024, 10:33 am CST

Members of Congress are expected to vote on legislation Thursday that could either force TikTok parent company ByteDance to divest from the app or face a ban in the U.S.

The bill, known as the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, was introduced earlier this week by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. Set to be held by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the vote, if approved, would then be sent to the House of Representatives.

If the bill passed and is signed into law, ByteDance would be given 165 days to sell TikTok to a non-Chinese entity. If not, the app would be removed from app stores in the U.S. In a press release this week, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.) argued that “America’s foremost adversary has no business controlling a dominant media platform in the United States.”

A spokesperson for TikTok, according to Reuters, argued that such a law would be in opposition to the rights of Americans.

“This bill is an outright ban of TikTok, no matter how much the authors try to disguise it,” the spokesperson said. “This legislation will trample the First Amendment rights of 170 million Americans and deprive 5 million small businesses of a platform.”

In response, TikTok is running an app-wide ad campaign in the U.S. ahead of the vote.

In Body Image

Users are seeing a notice upon entering the app that urges them to help “Stop a TikTok shutdown.”

“Congress is planning a total ban of TikTok,” the notice says. “Speak up now—before your government strips 170 million Americans of their Constitutional right to free expression. This will damage the livelihoods of countless creators across the country, and deny artists an audenice.”

The notice gives users an option to call Congress in order to tell them to vote no.

Although primarily focused on TikTok, the bill would also give the president the ability to identify social media apps run by foreign entities that could “pose a national security threat.”

The bill is just the latest in an ongoing effort by lawmakers to control the app. Although ByteDance claims it does not access U.S. users’ data, the company has faced numerous accusations that it does. The controversies led the U.S. government to ban the app on all federal devices.

Despite attempts to fix its image, TikTok previously admitted that several employees spied on journalists who wrote about the app.

On the state level, efforts have been made to ban the app as well, although a court recently blocked a ruling in Montana that attempted to ban the app.

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*First Published: Mar 7, 2024, 10:30 am CST