Bowman compares possible TikTok ban to putting ‘Band-Aid on maybe a small scab’
Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) on Sunday argued that a national TikTok ban would be like putting “a Band-Aid on maybe a small scab,” saying that lawmakers needed to focus on a broader data security bill.
“To ban TikTok is to put a Band-Aid on maybe a small scab versus what’s happening in the whole social media landscape,” Bowman said in an interview with MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation.” “We need a national data privacy piece of legislation.”
Bowman has been fighting back against a rising tide of bipartisan support for a ban of the video-sharing platform, which has come under the microscope for its connection to the Chinese government. Last week, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified in front of House lawmakers. Representatives in both parties grilled the executive on the app’s relationship with its parent company, which is Chinese-owned, and whether it has shared U.S. user data with the Chinese government.
But Bowman said on Sunday the backlash against TikTok is part of a fear-mongering campaign by Republicans, and criticized some Democrats for “acquiescing.”
“Republicans cannot govern on the issues, so they often use fear-mongering tactics to display themselves as being strong lawmakers,” Bowman said. “I’m disappointed that some Democratic lawmakers are responding to them and acquiescing to this rhetoric.”
A bipartisan bill in the Senate, introduced by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), would give the executive branch more authority to regulate foreign technologies, such as TikTok, and ultimately give it the power to ban or force the sale of such a platform. Warner said Sunday that 11 Democrats and 11 Republicans in the Senate have voiced support for the bill and said the White House was also in favor of it.
But Bowman said instead that lawmakers should focus on a broader data security package that would deal with the social media landscape and user privacy.
“That’s what we should be focused on, not scapegoating TikTok,” Bowman said.
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