TikTok Influencers Lobby Congress Against Ban Bill: 'I Will Fight Tooth-And-Nail For This App'

In a bid to thwart the potential ban of TikTok in the U.S., the platform has enlisted its influential content creators to lobby Congress.

What Happened: TikTok, owned by ByteDance, has deployed its top influencers to Washington to persuade lawmakers to reject a bill that could lead to the sale or ban of the app in the U.S., reported the Associated Press.

The influencers, who have been brought to the capital by TikTok, are scheduled to meet with members of Congress before a House floor vote on the bill on Wednesday.

JT Laybourne, an influencer hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah, who also came to Washington said, “I will fight tooth-and-nail for this app.”

Laybourne said that when faced with heart surgery in 2020, his TikTok community rallied around him. Following the surgery, he also used the platform to raise $1 million for the American Heart Association within two years.

Another influencer, Summer Lucille, who runs a plus-sized boutique in Charlotte, North Carolina, said, “If they ban it, I don't know what it will do” to her business. “It will be devastating.” Lucille has 1.4 million followers on the platform.

The legislation, which has garnered bipartisan support, would require ByteDance to sell its TikTok stakes and other affiliated applications within six months of the bill’s enactment, or face a ban in the U.S.

Despite the bill’s swift progress in the House, its fate in the Senate remains uncertain, with several bills aimed at banning TikTok already stalled.

Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump, who has influence over both House and Senate Republicans, has also expressed opposition to the bill, arguing that it would benefit Meta-owned Facebook. “If you get rid of TikTok, Facebook and Zuckerschmuck will double their business,” he posted on Truth Social.

See Also: Every $1 Spent On Nvidia H100 GPU Could Result In Up To $12 In Additional Tech Spending: Analyst

Why It Matters: The potential ban of TikTok in the U.S. has been a contentious issue for years. In 2020, Trump attempted to ban the app through an executive order, but the move was blocked by courts after TikTok sued.

The current bill, which is set for a House vote, is the latest development in the ongoing battle to regulate the app, which has raised concerns about data security and foreign influence.

Meanwhile, TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has been actively lobbying against the bill, with a strong presence in Washington that includes dozens of lobbyists from well-known consulting and legal firms, as well as former members of Congress and ex-aides to powerful lawmakers, according to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the report noted.

Photo by XanderSt on Shutterstock

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Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of Benzinga Neuro and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

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