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U.S. House bans TikTok on government devices as Congress ponders nationwide ban

Updated Dec 30th, 2022 10:48AM EST
TikTok app
Image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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The House of Representatives in the United States has officially voted to ban TikTok, the popular social media app, from government devices.

As reported by CBS News, the command came from the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on House Administration. The ban, which was announced on Tuesday, applies to any government device that the House of Representatives manages.

House staffers are now barred from downloading TikTok onto House devices and must remove the app from any mobile devices onto which it is currently downloaded, according to a memo from House Chief Administrative Officer Catherine Szpindor.

The ban has gone into effect “due to a number of security risks.” In November, FBI Director Christopher Wray specifically pointed to the Chinese government, which could force TikTok owner ByteDance to hand over user data.

“We do have national security concerns. They include the possibility that the Chinese government could use it to control data collection on millions of users.” 

The House of Representatives has joined a number of other parts of the government in the United States to ban the app on government devices. The Senate passed a similar measure earlier this month, and many states have passed bans on state and local devices.

The momentum is certainly heading in the direction of a potential nationwide ban on TikTok, which has skyrocketed into the fastest-growing social media app in the country when compared to competing apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.

Some members of Congress have already spoken in support of such a ban, but it is currently unclear if such a ban will go into effect or when that may be.

While TikTok does pose some level of security risk, it also continues to be insanely popular with those who use the app. The algorithm, which determines what content you want to watch, is the most effective many have seen yet.

If you want to better understand all of the motivations to ban the app, check out our explainer on why so many people want to ban TikTok.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.