Republicans long have distrusted TikTok, the Chinese-owned social-media company that appears to collect massive amounts of data on its users.
President Trump tried to ban it, and Republicans have accused the company of lying about its operations during a congressional hearing.
Now a Democrat is joining in the fight against the influence of the social media operation that has been called as bad as fentanyl, only for the mind, not the body.
The confirmation comes in an announcement from Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who says he's introduced bipartisan legislation that would ban TikTok from operating in the U.S.
The company is owned by China's ByteDance, and is required by Chinese law to make the app’s data available to the Chinese Communist Party.
Rubio's plan, "Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship, and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party Act (ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act)" would protect Americans by blocking and prohibiting all transactions from any social media company in, or under the influence of, China, Russia, and several other foreign countries of concern.
Rubio is joined in the effort by Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill.
Rubio said, "The federal government has yet to take a single meaningful action to protect American users from the threat of TikTok. This isn’t about creative videos — this is about an app that is collecting data on tens of millions of American children and adults every day. We know it’s used to manipulate feeds and influence elections. We know it answers to the People’s Republic of China. There is no more time to waste on meaningless negotiations with a CCP-puppet company. It is time to ban Beijing-controlled TikTok for good."
Krishnamoorthi added, "At a time when the Chinese Communist Party and our other adversaries abroad are seeking any advantage they can find against the United States through espionage and mass surveillance, it is imperative that we do not allow hostile powers to potentially control social media networks that could be easily weaponized against us. The bipartisan ANTI-SOCIAL CCP Act is a strong step in protecting our nation from the nefarious digital surveillance and influence operations of totalitarian regimes. Recent revelations surrounding the depth of TikTok’s ties to the CCP highlight the urgency of protecting Americans from these risks before it’s too late."
Gallegher confirmed, "TikTok is digital fentanyl that’s addicting Americans, collecting troves of their data, and censoring their news. It’s also an increasingly powerful media company that’s owned by ByteDance, which ultimately reports to the Chinese Communist Party – America’s foremost adversary."