A US congressman compares TikTok to an opioid and wants to ban it in the US

As TikTok faces increasingly restrictive legislation in the US, Republican MP Mike Gallagher points to the social network’s addiction and wants to ban it.

In the US, the noose around TikTok is tightening. On December 27, the Senate approved a ban on the social network on government phones. Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher goes even further by comparing internet addiction to “digital fentanyl” and wants to ban it in the US.

Guest on Sunday January 1st in the show Meet the press on the chain NBCMike Gallagher said that TikTok can be compared to “digital fentanyl (an opioid used for chronic pain)” because it “is highly addictive and destructive. We have disturbing data about the negative impact of the constant use of social media, especially on young Americans,” he said on air.

China directly targeted

Mike Gallagher also attacks Chinese propaganda’s use of the network. He believes that TikTok, which is growing in popularity, must be brought under control and claims that the social network is directly linked to the Chinese Communist Party: “TikTok is owned by ByteDance, and ByteDance is actually controlled by the CCP (…) We must ask ourselves whether we want the CCP to control what is on the verge of becoming America’s most powerful social network,” he warned.NBC.

Before you go even further and wonder if TikTok doesn’t control American information. “What if they start censoring news, right? What if they start changing the algorithm to determine what the CCP sees fit to say,” Mike Gallagher stated a dubious analogy with the KGB and Pravda, “who bought New York Times and other major newspapers at the time of the Cold War”.

For its part, TikTok has denied this information, reports Financial Timesand said there was “no truth” to the deputy’s claims and that they are available to Congress to brief members on the company’s “comprehensive plan to address national security concerns.”

American takeover?

More broadly, American politicians define TikTok as a potential national security risk. Last month, the US Senate voted to approve a bill banning federal employees from using TikTok on government entities. More than a dozen US states have already taken steps to ban their employees from installing TikTok on these phones.

Mike Gallagher also says he is open to selling TikTok to a US company, which he says would be “a viable solution”. He even introduced legislation with Marco Rubio to ban TikTok entirely in the US.

Last month, FBI Director Chris Wray said that TikTok could be used to facilitate espionage and that Beijing has the ability to control the app’s algorithm in ways that facilitate “influence operations” in the United States.

Since 2020, TikTok has been negotiating with the US government for a potential deal to resolve national security concerns and allow the app to remain available to US users. But the apparent lack of results in the negotiations has led some politicians to push to ban the app.

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