For immediate release: April 23, 2024


Today, the Senate will begin the process to vote on legislation to ban TikTok in the U.S. if the China-based platform is not sold within a year. The bill was passed in the House on Saturday and has been attached to a foreign aid package, making it almost certain to pass the Senate. Fight for the Future has been sounding the alarm on a TikTok ban since it was first raised in 2023. Via and our larger efforts against Bad Internet Bills, we have helped drive close to 1 million emails and over 100K calls to lawmakers. We believe that Congress should pass comprehensive Federal privacy legislation instead of pushing bills that promote censorship and authoritarianism. 

While proponents of the TikTok ban have pointed to national security concerns, they have yet to show the receipts. All of the most popular social media apps–Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and X/Twitter–spy on us for profit, and banning TikTok won’t change that. Those platforms also have very real financial interests in getting TikTok banned.

Our Director, Evan Greer, wrote an op-ed for CNN last year explaining why a TikTok ban won’t actually help protect children (or anyone) from surveillance, and will set a dangerous precedent.  

The following statement can be attributed to Evan Greer, Director of Fight for the Future: 

“Whether it’s dressed up as a ban or a forced sale, the bill targeting TikTok is one of the stupidest and most authoritarian pieces of tech legislation we’ve seen in years. Not only is this bill laughably unconstitutional and a blatant assault on free expression and human rights, it’s also a perfect way to derail momentum toward more meaningful policies like privacy and antitrust legislation that would actually address the harms of Big Tech and surveillance capitalism. Banning TikTok without passing real tech regulation will just further entrench monopolies like Meta and Google, without doing anything to protect Americans from data harvesting or government propaganda.

Extending the timeline of a forced sale under threat of ban does nothing to alleviate the obvious First Amendment and competition issues with this legislation. No government should be able to dictate who owns a social media platform that millions of people use to express themselves. Engaging in authoritarian style platform censorship in the US won’t address legitimate concerns about data collection, propaganda, or algorithmic manipulation. It will just embolden authoritarians around the world, who will happily point to the US when banning social media apps using vague ‘national security’ justifications.”

We could be months away from another Trump administration, and top Democrats are busy expanding mass surveillance authority and setting the precedent that the government can ban an entire social media app based on vague ‘national security’ concerns that haven’t been explained to the public.”