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White House Flip-Flops on TikTok Ban

In early March, the Biden Administration began supporting a bill in Congress that would potentially result in a ban of the social media app TikTok. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called it “important,” saying the administration welcomes it. And it’s not the first restriction on the app; in 2022, Biden signed a bill banning the app on government phones because of potential security risks.

But critics of the president are calling such support hypocritical, because a month prior, the President’s re-election campaign began using the app to engage younger voters.

“We’re going to try to meet voters where they are,” said Jean-Pierre. Campaign staffers clarified that while no White House staffers have the app on their phones, they are working directly with TikTok influencers to get their message across, and taking appropriate security precautions.

The legislation in question, which has received bipartisan support, would require Bytedance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, to sell the app or face a nationwide ban because of the way its data is stored. U.S. intelligence officials are concerned that Bytedance could be compelled to leak TikTok user data to the Chinese government.

If the bill passes, it would likely be challenged in court by Bytedance, who successfully sued the Trump administration to overturn a similar executive order in 2020.

Possible Preaching Angle:

If we say one thing with our words but communicate something else with our actions, we are not walking in truth, and therefore our words will lack credibility.

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