By Athena Papakosta

American congressmen from both of the country’s major parties – the Democratic Party and the Republican Party – are promoting a bill according to which the parent company of TikTok, ByteDancewill have to sell this digital platform to another company.

If the law is passed, ByteDance would have to sell TikTok within about six months. Otherwise, the platform will stop working in the United States.

A key argument of the House of Representatives committee on China – which proposed the bill – is the relations of the Chinese technology giant ByteDance with Beijing wherever it is based.

Like many other Social Media applications, TikTok collects data from its users. However the digital platform in question has come under the microscope for how much data it collects and who can access it.

More specifically, critics of TikTok in the United States – and beyond – express their concern that said data and information are available to the Chinese government, a possibility that both TikTok and ByteDance itself have categorically denied.

Nevertheless, in late 2022, a Financial Times journalist from Britain, who maintained a TikTok account but which was entirely dedicated to her cat, was secretly informed by company employees that she was being monitored.

By 2023, the UK government, UK parliament, EU institutions and the White House have asked their employees to remove TikTok software from their company phones.

American users of TikTok remain worried and the company is enlisting the users-giant influencers to succeed through lobbying to influence in its favor today’s vote in the Plenary of the House of Representatives.

“If they ban TikTok in the United States, I won’t know what to do,” influencer Summer Lucille, who has 1.4 million followers on the platform and is already in Washington, told the Associated Press.

As reported by American media, the bill to ban TikTok is gaining ground and the campaign to overturn it through users and influencers of this possible – as everything seems – result seems to be backfiring against ByteDance since many parliamentarians explain that the only thing that was achieved was their worries, instead of calming down, flare up further.

A staffer on the Republican side reported that most of the calls were from teenagers to seniors with most saying they were confused and that TikTok itself referred them to call. At the same time, the BBC reports, a worker on the Democratic side said that the most aggressive, in some cases even threatening, phone calls have come from women using the platform.

For his part, the American president joe biden, who for pre-election purposes opened TikTok about a month ago, said that if the bill passes the House, he will vote for it, while Donald Trump, who while he was president pursued the platform, argued that the ban on TikTok would lead to the strengthening of popularity of Facebook, which he accused of being “the enemy of the people”.