Congress was flooded with calls from TikTok supporters voicing their opposition to a bill that will potentially ban the app in the U.S.
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TikTok, the widely popular mobile video platform, has taken action to prevent Congress from imposing a “total ban on TikTok.”

More than 170 million monthly active TikTok users in the U.S. received a pop-up message prompting them to call their congressional representatives to express their opposition to a bill that could lead to the app’s ban in the country.


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These pop-ups seemed to have an impact as Congress has been inundated with calls from TikTok users of various age groups showing support for their cherished social media platform.

“Kids literally told our office they were calling from recess earlier today,” a Congressional staffer revealed to Mashable. The staffer preferred to remain anonymous as they were not authorized to communicate with the press through official channels.

While the majority of the callers may be younger, users of all ages responded to TikTok’s call-to-action.

“It’s so so bad. Our phones have not stopped ringing,” mentioned a GOP staffer in a report by Politico. “They’re teenagers and old people saying they spend their whole day on the app and we can’t take it away.”

A staffer disclosed that their office received over 1,000 calls specifically related to the TikTok bill.

Contrary to the focus on Republicans in Politico’s report, Mashable’s source stressed that Democratic members of Congress were also hearing from TikTok users. “It’s everyone,” the Congressional staffer told Mashable, and noted, “The calls are OVERWHELMINGLY from children.”

The bill aiming to ban TikTok

TikTok is leveraging its substantial reach to mobilize its users against a proposed bill to ban Chinese apps in the U.S.

The bipartisan bill is not yet up for a vote but recently passed through the House Energy and Commerce Committee with unanimous support, advancing the legislation.

Supporters of TikTok argue that the bill doesn’t outright ban the platform. Instead, it offers the company the option to be sold by its Chinese-based owner ByteDance – Republican Representative Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, a bill cosponsor, terms it as a “divestiture” – or face removal from U.S. app stores.

The White House has recently voiced its support for the bill that could potentially ban TikTok – in a non-endorsement capacity. This stance from President Joe Biden, who only recently joined the platform to engage with young voters, is notable.

While there were previous efforts to ban TikTok during the prior administration, those plans seemed to fade quickly. However, in response to privacy concerns, TikTok did form a partnership with U.S.-based company Oracle.

Now, with a renewed push to legislate against the company, TikTok is actively involving its users in the advocacy process. Will lawmakers consider the many constituents who voiced their support for the app? The broader outcome remains uncertain, but as observed in the House Energy and Commerce Committee session, the calls did not sway opinions.

Despite TikTok’s successful engagement of its user base, some sources suggest in Politico that the calls may be having a “backfiring” effect. The overwhelmed phone lines may be provoking certain Republican lawmakers to support the bill.

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