The news just keeps getting bigger, and this time the implications have sent shockwaves across political lines. For the first time, a Democratic Governor has taken a stand against one of the most popular social media apps around – TikTok – signaling that US security concerns are bipartisan and take precedence over personal trends and interests when it comes to tech giants.
Governor Laura Kelly of Kansas banned the social media app TikTok on all state-issued devices.
The Washington Examiner notes that this is the first time a Democratic governor has instituted a ban on the app.
Following the ban of the app on state devices in her state, Governor Kelly wrote on Twitter, “To protect Kansans’ privacy and security, I just issued an Executive Order to ban TikTok on state devices under my jurisdiction. TikTok mines users’ data and potentially gives it to the Chinese Communist Party — a threat recognized by a growing group of bipartisan leaders.”
Republican lawmakers have generally attacked TikTok, arguing that it is a security threat because it collects data and is affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party. According to lawmakers, TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, could give users’ data to the Chinese government or spread Chinese propaganda through the app.
There is growing bipartisan concern about the dangers of the app, which is used by roughly two-thirds of teenagers. Kelly’s decision reflects this concern.
In the recently passed $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill, TikTok was banned on all state-issued government employees’ devices. The House of Representatives also passed a bill on Tuesday banning TikTok from all devices.
In addition, so far at least 15 Republican governors have issued similar bans, according to the Associated Press.
This bold move by Governor Kelly of Kansas is a powerful reminder that no matter our party affiliation, we can come together to protect American citizens’ safety and privacy. This decision signifies Kelly’s commitment to national security as she is the first Democrat governor to have made a statement and taken meaningful action to protect citizens’ safety and privacy. This sends ripples of hope; it could spark conversation for more governors to come together in bipartisan agreement against TikTok with the idea of nationwide implementation of this ban to protect national security.
Let’s continue this conversation, in the comments below.