Rep. Mark Pocan and Content Creator Speak Out About Opposition To Proposed TikTok Bans

Published: Apr. 10, 2023 at 12:15 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have been raising concerns about the possibility of TikTok’s parent company Bytebance sharing U.S. user data with the Chinese government and several of those lawmakers have been calling for a ban on the popular social media app. But some have been speaking out against a ban - both content creators and a few members of Congress now.

A small group of lawmakers on Capitol Hill have opposed a ban saying it does not solve the bigger problem with social media privacy issues.

“We do have a job as a members of Congress, and that is to protect our data and to protect disinformation. But we’re not doing that by a simple ban on TikTok,” said Rep. Mark Pocan (D - WI).

Rep. Pocan says the real problem is privacy of user data across all social media platforms and says a singular ban on one app is not the solution.

“We do have a problem and we do need to have better control over the privacy of individuals data, the disinformation that gets pushed to people. But singling out any one platform doesn’t get nearly where you need to get,” said Pocan.

Content creators have also spoke out against a potential ban, saying it could seriously hurt their businesses like Gabby Beckford who posts content on her travel account “Packs Light.”

“A lot of the ways that I make money, maybe that’s my e-book sales or whether that’s brand partnerships. Tik Tok is a large part of those because that’s my largest audience. So it would be an unprecedented change in my business for sure,” said Beckford.

Beckford agrees that there are privacy concerns with the app but doesn’t think an outright ban is right either.

“I find that there are valid security concerns or privacy concerns with Tik Tok for sure, but I don’t think that they’re isolated just to TikTok. I have the same concerns, if not more, with other social platforms,” she said.

Congressman Pocan said he is hoping that lawmakers here can shift their focus to regulating all social media companies more.

“We need to regulate the social media companies more, especially around the privacy of our data and how some of the misinformation gets pushed,” he said. “If we do that, we should be able to do that in a bipartisan way. There’s not like a left or right perspective. There shouldn’t be any way. There’s not among real people. So hopefully members of Congress could find a way to do that.”