Should the United States ban TikTok?

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A bipartisan coalition is currently considering such an action and a bill has been introduced to the Senate (FT summary here).  I don’t see why we should do this.  I am all for keeping TikTok off the smart phones of people in the military and in national intelligence and perhaps a few other roles as well.  But beyond that point?

What is the actual evidence that it is serving up slanted, pro-Chinese content, or otherwise swaying public opinion in a negative manner?

On top of that, perhaps many Americans should be more exposed to pro-Chinese views!  As part of a broader menu of choice, of course.  If only TikTok would teach them the theory of comparative advantage.

If TikTok did turn out to be an insidious and highly effective agent of foreign propaganda, we can always ban it later on.  That won’t be hard to do, politically speaking.

You are losing your privacy to the Chinese?  The Chinese, for better or worse, already can buy lots of data on you from private data brokers, just as other parties can.  Few people seem super worried about that.  Nor do we ban trips to China, which often result in a “stripping” of all the available information accessible through that person’s devices (people who matter and who know better often just bring burner phones and laptops, etc.).

What exactly would be the legal basis for such a ban?  “I don’t like your company so we are getting rid of it?”  We can do better than that.

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