TikTok, Congress, and Digital Battles in Geopolitics

Politicos and the private sector clash over ownership of TikTok, smashing together allegations of geopolitical antagonism and data privacy risks.

The die has been cast.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to force the divestiture of social media platform TikTok from its current ownership, sever ties with China, or face a ban in the United States.

The U.S. Senate reportedly wants to take its time with the legislation -- a bill that President Joe Biden already indicated he would sign into law if it passes both houses of Congress.

It is a messy proposition -- federal policymakers potentially compelling a private tech entity to sell itself to a domestic buyer or be removed from the American market. Content creators and users of TikTok have decried the move, which has bipartisan support at a time of deep political divisiveness.

Potential buyers who step up may have their own political agendas to push via TikTok. Watchdogs want to know why such measures were not taken with other social media platforms, especially after they were caught influencing public behavior.

Senior Writer Shane Snider joins this episode of DOS Won’t Hunt for a discussion of the forces at play and potential repercussions of the battle over TikTok.

Listen to the full podcast here.

About the Author(s)

Joao-Pierre S. Ruth

Senior Editor

Joao-Pierre S. Ruth covers tech policy, including ethics, privacy, legislation, and risk; fintech; code strategy; and cloud & edge computing for InformationWeek. He has been a journalist for more than 25 years, reporting on business and technology first in New Jersey, then covering the New York tech startup community, and later as a freelancer for such outlets as TheStreet, Investopedia, and Street Fight. Follow him on Twitter: @jpruth.

Shane Snider

Senior Writer, InformationWeek, InformationWeek

Shane Snider is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years of industry experience. He started his career as a general assignment reporter and has covered government, business, education, technology and much more. He was a reporter for the Triangle Business Journal, Raleigh News and Observer and most recently a tech reporter for CRN. He was also a top wedding photographer for many years, traveling across the country and around the world. He lives in Raleigh with his wife and two children.

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