“Your platform should be banned,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R–Wash.) said to TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew during her opening statement at a March 23 congressional hearing.
The attacks on TikTok were wide-ranging and bipartisan, with Rep. John Sarbanes (D–Md.) describing American children as “drowning” in TikTok’s powerful algorithm, Rep. Buddy Carter (R–Ga.) accusing TikTok of engaging in “psychological warfare” on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party, and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R–Texas) characterizing the platform as a weapon capable of “destroying our society from within.”
In the Senate, Josh Hawley (R–Mo.) sought unanimous consent to pass a bill banning TikTok in America, an effort blocked by Sen. Rand Paul (R–Ky.), who warned Americans “to beware of those who use fear to coax Americans to relinquish our liberties, to regulate and limit our First Amendment rights” and said that Hawley’s bill would “emulate Chinese speech bans.”
Join Reason‘s Nick Gillespie and Zach Weissmueller this Thursday at 1 p.m. Eastern for a discussion of the looming TikTok ban with Washington Post journalist Taylor Lorenz, who’s spent much of her career covering the effects and cultural impact of social media apps like TikTok. Lorenz wrote in a recent column that lawmakers made a number of “claims that were inaccurate or at least debatable” during the TikTok hearing. For the second half of the conversation, Coin Center research director Peter Van Valkenburgh will join the stream to help analyze the details of the RESTRICT Act, a far-reaching Senate bill that aims to shut down TikTok in America but which a recent Coin Center report describes as creating “blanket authority, with few checks, to ban just about anything linked to a ‘foreign adversary.'”
Watch and leave questions and comments on the YouTube video above or on Reason‘s Facebook page.