President Trump told reporters on Friday that he will take action as soon as Saturday to ban TikTok, a Chinese-owned app that has prompted national security and censorship concerns.
China said any American ban on Chinese apps would be "ridiculous".
China's foreign ministry accused Washington of misusing national security as an excuse to "unreasonably suppress" foreign companies following U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on dealings with the Chinese owners of consumer apps TikTok and WeChat.
President Donald Trump has made it clear in recent weeks that he wants to ban TikTok in the U.S. The White House even recently said that the timeline for its axing will come in “weeks, not months.” Even so, there may be hope to save the app: Microsoft has been in talks with ByteDance, TikTok’s China-based owner, to acquire the app and keep it available to U.S.-based users. But Trump is reportedly only giving Microsoft 45 days to finalize acquisition talks with ByteDance for TikTok, according to Reuters. But even then, there’s no guarantee that he won’t turn around and ban the app anyway. And reportedly, now Trump wants a piece of the sale price, which isn’t really how things work.Trump’s sudden laser-focus on banning TikTok isn’t out of character for him: The man thrives on petty drama and controversy. But why is he going after “Savage Challenge” dancers all of a sudden?Let’s dive into this mystery, ahead. Tensions between the U.S. and ChinaU.S.-China tensions could very well be a driving force behind Trump’s sudden decision to put TikTok on the App store chopping block. He has continuously used China as a scapegoat, making racist comments and blaming coronavirus on China, calling it the “kung-flu.” He even told commentator Greta Van Susteren during a recent interview that “It’s something we’re looking at, yes. It’s a big business. Look, what happened with China with this virus, what they’ve done to this country and to the entire world is disgraceful.” Some have also labeled TikTok a national security threat because of its data-collection abilities. TikTok teens and K-pop stans tanking his Tulsa rallyCould Trump still be mad over TikTok’s role in his now-famously sparsely attended June rally in Tulsa, OK? The commander-in-chief and his administration bragged about how many seats they would fill during the first rally of his 2020 campaign — originally planned for Juneteenth — on June 20, only to be met with a near-empty stadium on the day of the event. The mastermind culprits behind those empty seats? Teens using TikTok and K-pop stans, who spread the word for their peers to register for free tickets en masse, and then not show up. Given how much he likes to brag about his “huge” rallies, it’s not out of the question that this made him furious and contributed to his decision. TikTok’s political powerTrump’s own plan may just backfire on him. Since he announced his intention to ban TikTok, many young people have said that they are even more mobilized to vote against him, calling the proposed ban a “game-changer.” This is a great example of TikTok’s political power, and probably what Trump feared in the first place, which is why he moved to ban the app. TikTok is, after all, known for amateur political pundits and humorous provocateurs, from comedian Sarah Cooper’s brilliant lip-syncing videos to Claudia Conway, Kellyanne Conway’s Trump-hating 15-year-old daughter.TikTok has been controversial for a while: Last month, former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign banned the app from staffers’ work phones over data privacy concerns. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio called for the U.S. government to investigate TikTok over censorship concerns back in October 2019. The Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Justice Department are looking into allegations that the app failed to protect children’s privacy. Whatever ends up happening to TikTok, it’s sure to stir up the news cycle for a while — so stay tuned for updates.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?TikTok Ban May Come Sooner Than We ThoughtInside The Racist TikTok Controversy In ChappaquaHow Teens On TikTok Derailed Trump's Tulsa Rally
TikTok is already looking at legal action, saying it's "shocked" by Trump's move and that it happened without "due process."
President Donald Trump is again escalating tensions with China, this time with plans to ban the social media apps TikTok and WeChat from use within the U.S. in the next 45 days. Trump has long pushed measures against the Chinese government, taking actions to attack China on trade, defense, and technology, which have further destabilized diplomatic relations between the two countries. In two new executive orders, the president is now giving TikTok and WeChat 45 days to sell to a U.S.-owned parent company before they are completely ousted.The executive orders seek to ban transactions between TikTok and WeChat’s parent companies, ByteDance and Tencent respectively, and U.S. citizens, citing national security concerns. Both apps could be cut off from receiving advertising from U.S. companies and could be forcibly removed from the Apple and Google app stores, according to NPR. Trump’s TikTok order further plays into the president’s ongoing “Red Scare” against Communism, arguing the app is censoring and spreading information in alignment with the Chinese Communist Party. Legal experts say the Trump administration couldn’t legally enforce a ban on TikTok, but “he can interfere so heavily with TikTok’s business that an American TikTok clone will replace it,” Kyle Langvardt, a law professor at the University of Detroit, told Business Insider. Likewise, a ban on the app wouldn’t necessarily impact the millions of people who have already downloaded it, unless the president enforced it at the network level. Such a ban would involve blocking communications between servers and users, which is also unprecedented under U.S. law.TikTok echoed similar concerns, and said the ban would set a “dangerous precedent” and undermine “global businesses’ trust in the United States.” The U.S. government and TikTok have been in communications over the last year to find a solution to concerns over the company’s ownership. But the Trump administration has ramped efforts to ban the app since July, the New York Times reports. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News on July 6 that the Trump administration was “certainly looking at” a TikTok ban, again suggesting that user data could end up “in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.” The following day, Trump said a ban could be into effect as punishment for the coronavirus outbreak, again forwarding Sinophobic rhetoric. Over the last four years, the Trump administration has escalated tensions with China through a series of measures taken against the country’s government. Trump has put in place punitive tariffs on Chinese goods; blacklisted the Chinese tech company Huawei, with claims China was using the company to infiltrate U.S. telecommunications infrastructure; and more recently, pushed racist narratives about the coronavirus, blaming China for its spread. TikTok may be the president’s latest enemy in his ongoing technological war with China, but Trump’s proposed ban is about much more than the video-sharing social network, and things could get a lot worse. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Trump: Joe Biden Will "Hurt God" If ElectedFacebook Has Finally Decided To Censor TrumpIs Trump's Administration Violating The Hatch Act?
The Hatch Act is suddenly on everyone’s radar after news broke that the Trump administration plans to use the White House South Lawn for President Donald Trump’s nationally televised nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention later this month. Twitter lit up in response citing provisions in the Hatch Act that would be broken should Trump stage the high-profile campaign event on government property.But what is the Hatch Act, and why is the Trump administration being accused of violating it? Put simply, the Hatch Act says that if you work for a federal agency, you cannot use the platform of your office, which is funded by taxpayers, to advocate for your personal political beliefs. The Hatch Act became law in 1939 to protect federal workers from outside pressures to participate in a specific political activity or risk losing their job. The legislation came about after Democratic officials used federal workers in the Works Progress Administration to help them campaign in swing states. Its purpose is to separate public office from politics.The philosophy behind the Hatch Act is to prevent federal employees from engaging in political activity while on the job which may sound confusing since they, you know, work in politics; however, the lines are made pretty clear. Regulations state that federal employees are barred from “using his or her official title while participating in political activity” or “using his or her authority to coerce any person to participate in political activity.” Political activity in this instance is considered activities directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate, or partisan political group. In this particular instance, this would be referring to the success of Trump’s reelection campaign.But the question remains: What happens to the president and his administration if they engage in this kind of activity? There are some notable exceptions to the Hatch Act. Unless involving criminal activity, the president and vice president are technically exempt from these restrictions. The only instance in which the Hatch Act applies directly to the president – thanks to a 1993 amendment to the Act – is if they use their position to intimidate, threaten, or coerce a federal employee. However, this doesn’t make the talk on Twitter irrelevant. “He may not be violating the Hatch Act, but he is ordering other people to,” Richard Painter, former chief White House ethics lawyer, told the Washington Post. “At a certain point you are using White House resources, and that is a violation of the Hatch Act.”With criminal activity being the exception, Hatch Act violations don’t involve charges or possible jail time. The Office of Special Counsel, a special body set up just for the Hatch Act, investigates and determines whether a violation has occurred. It can be a career-ending error. The decision of whether to punish a person found violating the Act falls on the boss. If they decide not to do anything about it, the investigation ends there. A prime example is White House adviser Kellyanne Conway. She has violated the Hatch Act numerous times but avoids consequences despite the Office of Special Counsel advising that she be removed from her position.In the case of using the White House South Lawn, it could be considered a misuse of congressionally appropriated funds for political gain which would be criminally enforceable. While the Hatch Act violations would fall on Republican National Convention planners and Trump administration employees rather than Trump, misuse of funds could reach Trump. Former vice president Joe Biden has given mixed signals as to whether he would pursue Trump and his allies in investigations should he become president. The statute of limitations for misusing funds would not have run out in 2021, but Biden made it clear he wouldn’t involve himself in Justice Department decisions. “In terms of having the Justice Department go look at an individual or whatever, the Justice Department is not my lawyer,” Biden said in a May interview on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Trump's Latest Interview Was Full Of False ClaimsTrump's Hypocrisy On Schools Reopening This FallWhy Trump Is REALLY Trying To Ban TikTok
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