Three Politicians Who Voted for the TikTok ‘Ban’ Have Lively Accounts

The U.S. handed a bipartisan invoice on Wednesday to drive ByteDance, the proprietor of TikTok, to divest from the social media platform or face an entire ban within the nation. The invoice handed 352 to 65 and must be taken up by the Senate and signed by President Joe Biden to develop into legislation. However we couldn’t assist noticing one thing fascinating within the closing vote complete from the Home. Not less than three members of Congress who voted for the “ban” nonetheless have very energetic accounts on TikTok.

Who voted for the invoice whereas sustaining a TikTok account that’s posted a brand new video inside the previous week?

Rep. Jackson is a prolific TikToker who posted a brand new video simply yesterday speaking in regards to the invoice and defending his vote. The best way Jackson tells it, he believes ByteDance will simply promote the corporate, one thing he helps, and TikTok gained’t be banned in the long run.

“Why inform them they need to promote? The underside line is there’s a severe concern that the Chinese language authorities can affect what you see in your For You web page,” Jackson mentioned.

Gizmodo reached out to all three congressmen for remark however didn’t instantly hear again Wednesday afternoon.

There have been additionally not less than three accounts from members of Congress who voted for the ban however haven’t posted in a very long time.

Rep. Takano signed up for TikTok in 2019 and hasn’t posted a brand new video since 2020, whereas Rep. Houlahan and Rep. Wilson seem to have stopped posting in late 2022. The U.S. banned TikTok on all government-owned telephones in December 2022, which can clarify their alternative.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, voted for the ban on Wednesday and has an account however has by no means posted a video. As you possibly can see, each politician on the listing is a Democrat, maybe a symptom of the celebration’s want to enchantment to younger folks, although it’s not essentially an evidence for how one can vote on banning the platform whereas retaining your account.

TikTok has roughly 170 million customers within the U.S. throughout a variety of ages, however there’s been a long-held notion that TikTok is the place to interact with youthful Individuals. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew highlighted the distorted notion of the social media platform as “a dancing app for youngsters” in congressional testimony final summer season, noting the common consumer is definitely “an grownup effectively previous faculty.”

The political ideologies of the individuals who voted for or towards the invoice have been all around the map, with some Republicans making the case that they have been voting towards the invoice on free speech grounds. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, doesn’t have a TikTok account, however he in contrast a possible ban to one thing that will solely occur in an authoritarian nation.

“TikTok is banned in China. So, we’re going to emulate the Chinese language communists by banning it in our nation?” Paul requested throughout an interview on Tuesday.

Democrats who have been towards the invoice, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, mentioned early Wednesday that she’d be voting towards the invoice as a result of it had been “rushed,” rising from committee in simply 4 days, whereas elevating issues about privateness rights in addition to the query of whether or not TikTok actually was a menace to nationwide safety, as many have claimed.

“There are severe antitrust and privateness questions right here, and any nationwide safety issues must be laid out to the general public previous to a vote,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on X.

However, once more, the invoice within the Home handed with bipartisan assist, as each Republicans and Democrats got here collectively to get the invoice over the end line, regardless of a last-minute reversal from the chief of the Republican Occasion, Donald Trump.

It’s not an enormous shock that some members of Congress who voted for the TikTok ban would have accounts, given the extremely quick manner during which this laws happened. However Rep. Jackson, Rep. Allred, and Rep. Casten will most likely get some warmth again of their dwelling districts over the looks of hypocrisy.

Or perhaps not. In any case, TikTok is enormously well-liked within the U.S. and the concept that hypocrisy may hurt a political marketing campaign is now an old school idea that died someplace round 2015 or 2016. Trump’s the man who’s now towards a ban that he signed into an Govt Order just some years in the past. And the cognitive dissonance required to take a look at that type of reversal whereas nonetheless believing he’s a person of precept could also be simply the recipe that catapults him again into the White Home.

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