BAM’s Key Details:
- A new bill from a small, bipartisan group of lawmakers would ban TikTok in the U.S.
- Both the Trump and Biden administrations have expressed concern about potential Chinese government influence on the company.
- Whatever the outcome, this news serves as a reminder of the vulnerability of social media
After years of U.S. leaders expressing concern about the Chinese government accessing user data, influencing users, and censoring content, a small, bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced a bill to ban TikTok in the U.S.
This is despite TikTok’s assurances that user data is stored outside China and, therefore, beyond the reach of the Chinese government.
Whatever the outcome of this bill, this news serves as a necessary (and potentially business-saving) reminder of the vulnerability of social media platforms.
Behind the bill
The fact remains that TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance. And regardless of where user data is stored, critics in both administrations have raised fears that the Chinese government could gain access to it by compelling the company to hand it over.
The safety of user data isn’t the only concern, either. FBI Director Christopher Wray recently testified before Congress that he’s “extremely concerned” about the Chinese government’s potential influence on TikTok users in the U.S.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. is in talks with TikTok about the data concerns and how to resolve them, but a solution has been delayed.
The ANTI-SOCIAL CCP ACT
The new bill has a name: The ANTI-SOCIAL CCP ACT, which stands for Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party.
Introduced by three congressmen, the bill explicitly names TikTok and ByteDance as subject to its restrictions, “unless and until the date on which the President certifies to Congress that the company no longer meets any of the conditions described” — like being subject to “substantial influence” by a foreign government.
According to a press release, the bill would ban “all transactions from any social media company in, or under the influence of, China, Russia, and several other foreign countries of concern.”
It remains to be seen whether the three lawmakers behind the bill — Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) and Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill) — will be equally motivated to go after other platforms.
It is troubling that rather than encouraging the Administration to conclude its national security review of TikTok, some members of Congress have decided to push for a politically-motivated ban that will do nothing to advance the national security of the United States. We will continue to brief members of Congress on the plans that have been developed under the oversight of our country’s top national security agencies—plans that we are well underway in implementing—to further secure our platform in the United States.
Reactions and takeaways
Social media stocks showed an immediate response, with the value of Meta shares going up more than 6% and Snap’s rising more than 3% as of late Tuesday morning.
After all, if the bill passes and TikTok no longer has a place in the U.S., Instagram and Snapchat will likely benefit. Both are popular as social apps, and Instagram is already a favorite platform for community-minded content creators. Those who split their time between Instagram and TikTok will suddenly have more time to devote to the former.
Overall, creators who have built a following on multiple platforms—i.e., as many as they can manage—will be vindicated since they won’t see all their social media efforts go up in smoke.
Losing TikTok might sting, but it won’t obliterate their social media presence.
Top takeaways for real estate agents
News like this is just another reminder of the vulnerability of social media platforms. Relying on any social media platform to be the foundation of your marketing efforts is a lot like building a sand castle. You put all the work in to create something that actually looks like an architectural marvel, only to see it collapse when the tide comes in.
Here’s what you can do to ensure your work doesn’t disappear (in case TikTok does):
- Build something no app can take from you: an email list. For tips on growing your list, start by reading “3 Ways to Grow Your Email List” and “The Best Way to Grow Your Email List.”
- Produce content for all social media platforms. BAM’s Short-Form Video Playbook details how to distribute video across all platforms—without angering algorithms.
Want to learn how to distribute short-form video across all platforms?
Download The Broke Agent’s Guide to learn how!