Senate Considering TikTok Ban While Trump Says Facebook ‘Worse Than TiktTok’

Donald Trump, the likely Republican candidate, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, may have a real showdown as the Senate considers banning TikTok.

If the platform is not sold to a corporation unaffiliated with the Chinese Communist Party, Trump is opposed to a House measure that would prohibit TikTok. Many believe that Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has been trying to weaken TikTok for years.

Mark Zuckerberg has used the “copy, acquire, and kill” tactic to undermine other platforms for quite some time. Instagram Reels may have been a hit, but it hasn’t stopped young people from gravitating to TikTok, their favorite video-sharing app.

Zuckerberg’s address at Georgetown University, in which he openly criticized TikTok and China, is considered a watershed event. His speech was even published in transcript form in The Washington Post. A Wall Street Journal article said that Zuckerberg’s speech stoked Washington’s fears about TikTok.

Trump had already promised to prohibit TikTok in 2020 by an executive order, but two federal courts halted his order. Meta has subsequently irritated conservatives with its now-famous decision to ban Trump’s Instagram and Facebook accounts in the wake of the events on January 6.

While the Chinese government has denied any wrongdoing, TikTok’s detractors have long said that the app poses a danger to national security because of its control of ByteDance and its potential to obtain critical user data, even in the United States. According to China hawks, the app’s widespread use among young Americans provides the governing Chinese Communist Party with a springboard for a massive influence operation.

Legislators and supporters of the measure, such as former California Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have repeatedly stressed that the goal is not to prohibit TikTok but to reduce the dangers posed by the app’s ties to China.

David Bossie, president of Citizens United, thinks that the Chinese Communist Party’s capacity to acquire data and information makes TikTok very dangerous for Americans. However, he believes any fix that aids Meta “benefits the left” because Zuckerberg would expand his influence and power.