Missouri state Senator Josh Hawley wants to ban TikTok in the U.S. and plans to take action today (Jan. 25), according to his Twitter account. Yesterday (Jan. 24), Hawley said in a statement that he will introduce a new bill forbidding the usage of the popular social media app nationwide.
He also took it to Twitter to voice his concerns about TikTok, claiming that the Beijing-based parent company, ByteDance, which owns the app, invades privacy and causes harm to children.
“China’s backdoor into Americans’ lives,” wrote Hawley. “It threatens our children’s privacy as well as their mental health. Last month, Congress banned it on all government devices. Now I will introduce legislation to ban it nationwide.”
This comes one month after President Joe Biden signed off on a $1.7 trillion No TikTok on Government Devices Act, which Hawley sponsored, that also banned TikTok and any other ByteDance-owned apps from being downloaded or accessed through any federally issued device or network.
According to NBC News, at the end of December 2022, the House’s Chief Administrative Officer Catherine L. Szpindor enforced lawmakers and staffers to delete TikTok from any House-issued mobile phones and restricted them from downloading the app on such devices.
While the House approved last month’s new legislation, the law doesn’t apply to members of Congress or their staff as they can still use TikTok. It also doesn’t apply to the Senate. However, last month, Florida Senator Marco Rubio pushed for a similar bill banning the app nationwide to be passed.
In all, 31 states have banned TikTok from government devices, while five states, including Hawaii, New York, California, Massachusetts and Vermont, have proposed bans.
Multiple universities have also banned their students from accessing TikTok when using campus Wi-Fi including the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, the University of Central Oklahoma, Boise State University, and Auburn University.