POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

TikTok ‘stunt’ backfires as House lawmakers push to change company ownership

Mar 8, 2024, 7:57 PM | Updated: Mar 9, 2024, 12:34 pm

Utah Rep. John Curtis discusses how a “stunt” by TikTok to influence House lawmakers just anger...

Rep. John Curtis talks in the Deseret News and KSL newsroom in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Looking to change ownership of the TikTok app, House lawmakers got a big boost in their efforts from the company owner.

Lawmakers said TikTok’s owner, ByteDance, has links to the Chinese Communist Party — something denied by ByteDance, according to the BBC.

According to an article from NBC News that cites a Network Contagion Research Institute report, TikTok’s content on some political subjects aligns with the Chinese government.

Utah Rep. John Curtis is one of the biggest advocates in Congress for stricter regulations on TikTok. He joined Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson about the legislation designed to protect Americans’ data from the Chinese Government.

 

 

President Biden said Friday he would sign into law a bill that could lead to the ban of TikTok in the United States. This has fueled lawmakers’ latest push to block the app’s Chinese owners from operating in the U.S., The Wall Street Journal reports.

 

If enacted into law, ByteDance would have a little more than five months (165 days) to sell ownership of TikTok.

If not divested by that date, it would be illegal for app stores such as Apple and Google to make it available for download, CNN reports.

TikTok stunt blows up, angering House committee

House Committee on Energy and Commerce passed a bill unanimously (50-0). Anticipating the committee voting on the bill to change company ownership, TikTok pulled a “stunt,” Curtis said.

“TikTok’s reaction to [the vote] was to put up on the screen of anybody that accessed the app . . . a requirement that [users] enter their ZIP code and then a requirement to actually call the members of Congress before they could use the app — and that so angered the committee.”

“Boyd, for this committee to come out 50-to-zero, you know that we have to have some strong feelings — every Republican and every Democrat voted for this bill,” Curtis said.

Curtis posed a rhetorical question about where TikTok’s actions might ultimately lead during an election.

“Imagine if that we’re for an election, and TikTok wanted everybody that uses their app to call on a specific politician and weigh in a certain way.

“The ability to influence an election — particularly now with their algorithms of changing behavior — and it is really scary, and it’s so bothered to committee. That’s why they got that 50-to-zero vote,” Curtis said.

Related:

Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson can be heard weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Politics + Government

Vice President Kamala Harris arrives for an Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote Town Hall, Sat...

Emma Keddington

Kamala Harris intends to “earn and win” Democratic presidential nomination

Vice President Kamala Harris will seek the Democratic nomination for president, following Biden's presidential race resignation. 

10 hours ago

FILE - President Joe Biden speaks at a news conference July 11, 2024, in Washington. President Joe ...

Kennedy Camarena and Emma Keddington

Utah officials react to President Biden dropping out of presidential race

President Joe Biden's resignation sparked reactions throughout Utah not long after the news was announced.

11 hours ago

Biden set to come back to the campaign trail next week. Howell reacts. ( April 27, 2024. Marielle S...

Diana Jones

Is Biden ready to return to the campaign trail? Expert says its up to Biden

President Biden's campaign says he's returning to the campaign trail next week amidst rumors of stepping down.

2 days ago

gov spencer cox shown speaking, cox endorsed trump on Friday...

Sam Herrera

Gov. Cox says he plans to vote for Trump, offers former president support

Gov. Spencer Cox expressed his support and confirmed his endorsement of the former president during his monthly press conference.

2 days ago

president joe biden shown, former president obama has expressed concerns about biden's campaign...

Sam Herrera

LISTEN: Obama expresses concerns over Biden’s chances for reelection

Former President Barack Obama has privately expressed that President Joe Biden should reconsider his campaign's chances.

3 days ago

Republican vice presidential candidate Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, speaks during the Republican National...

Emma Keddington

JD Vance closes out day 3 at Republican National Convention, officially accepts VP nomination

JD Vance described his upbringing, called housing affordability and pledged that he will "give [Americans] everything I have."

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

TikTok ‘stunt’ backfires as House lawmakers push to change company ownership