The news: Rumblings about the possibility of a TikTok ban are reaching a boiling point. The US House of Representatives voted Wednesday to give President Joe Biden the power to ban TikTok from the US outright, capping off a month that saw several governments put restrictions on the app.
Why a time limit matters: The US discussion around TikTok has been focused on the two issues of data privacy and teen impact. The latter is an issue across social media, but TikTok’s explosive growth and dominance over teen culture have made it an especially scrutinized target, Insider Intelligence principal analyst Jasmine Enberg writes.
Just as the previous time limit didn’t lift scrutiny, neither will the flimsily enforced new one. As Insider Intelligence principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson points out in a recent LinkedIn post, TikTok is actively rolling out features designed to increase time spent like longer video lengths and live streaming and shopping features.
The big red button: All that leads up to the House’s expansion of President Biden’s ability to ban the app. It’s difficult to predict what TikTok’s fate will ultimately be—the app is a bright spot for advertising amid an industrywide slump, and an outright ban would likely be highly unpopular with Gen Z adults and teen users, not to mention free speech backers.