Should you click the call now button on the TikTok popup?
Credit: Screenshot / TikTok

When you use TikTok, you may encounter a pop-up message while scrolling.

The pop-up states, “Congress is considering a complete ban of TikTok. Speak up now – before your government removes the Constitutional right to free expression from 170 million Americans. This will negatively impact many businesses, harm the livelihoods of numerous creators nationwide, and deprive artists of an audience. Let Congress understand the significance of TikTok to you and ask them to vote NO.”

The only option on the screen is “Call Now,” so if a user prefers not to do so, they would need to exit the application and relaunch it to continue browsing. Upon clicking “Call Now,” users are prompted to enter their zip code to locate local representatives in their region. Once this is done, the app provides the user with their local representative’s phone number and encourages them to call and “urge them to prevent a TikTok shutdown.”

While TikTok did not provide a specific script or identify the legislation, it likely refers to a new bill introduced to the House of Representatives that could potentially ban Chinese apps, including TikTok, from U.S. app stores.


ACLU warns against proposed TikTok ban for violating the First Amendment

In a recent press release, Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Republican, stated, “This is my message to TikTok: break up with the Chinese Communist Party or lose access to your American users.” Gallagher, alongside Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, introduced the Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, citing TikTok’s potential threat to national security.

Democratic Rep. Krishnamoorthi also emphasized the need to safeguard American social media users by divesting foreign adversary-controlled apps to protect against digital surveillance and influence campaigns from hostile regimes.

If enacted, U.S. app stores could face fines for hosting apps “controlled by a foreign adversary.” In response, the ACLU expressed concerns that such legislation could infringe on First Amendment rights.

From statewide bans to executive orders aimed at app bans, TikTok has been subject to various regulatory challenges and government scrutiny.

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Christianna Silva
Senior Culture Reporter

Christianna Silva is a Senior Culture Reporter at Mashable. They write about tech and digital culture, with a focus on Facebook and Instagram. Before joining Mashable, they worked as an editor at NPR and MTV News, a reporter at Teen Vogue and VICE News, and as a stablehand at a mini-horse farm. You can follow them on Twitter @christianna_j.


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