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New Senate Bill Doesn't Want Federal Employees Doing the #FlipTheSwitch Challenge, Would Ban TikTok on Work Phones

Illustration for article titled New Senate Bill Doesnt Want Federal Employees Doing the #FlipTheSwitch Challenge, Would Ban TikTok on Work Phones
Photo: LIONEL BONAVENTURE (Getty Images)

Two Republican senators sure know how to kill a good time.

On Thursday, Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Rick Scott of Florida introduced the No TikTok on Government Devices Act, which would basically prevent federal government employees from doing the #FlipTheSwitch challenge on their work phones.

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Yes, the bill has everything to do with TikTok being a Chinese-owned video app, which has sparked fears about the possible spying on people in the State Department, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense and Transportation Security Administration.

But have the senators seen this:

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Don’t take away work-phone fun over possible spying. Fun-squelchers Hawley and Scott argued that the app causes “national security risks,” Politico reports.

TikTok is owned by ByteDance and “is required by law to share user data with Beijing,” Hawley said, Politico reports.

“As many of our federal agencies have already recognized, TikTok is a major security risk to the United States, and it has no place on government devices.”

Scott added that “the use of apps like TikTok by federal employees on government devices is a risk to our networks and a threat to our national security.”

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But has Hawley seen this:

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Or this:

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From Politico:

TikTok representatives declined to testify at a hearing last week in Hawley’s Senate Judiciary crime and terrorism subcommittee — after sitting out a similar hearing in November — but have denied ties to the Chinese government.

Scrutiny on TikTok has intensified in Washington after the company, formerly known as Musical.ly, had to pay nearly $6 million last year to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that it violated a children’s privacy law. TikTok has since beefed up its D.C. policy shop and camp of advisers, and just this week announced it’s opening a “transparency center” in California to give experts insight into how the company approaches content moderation, data privacy and related issues.

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But has anyone in Congress seen this:

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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DISCUSSION

yestheyarereal
Yes...They Are Real!

Am I the only one who didn’t understand anything that was going on here? Have I now reached the point of no return, where technology confuses me?

I’m only 38. I go on the Facebook and the Twitter daily. But I didn’t even know creating these clips a “thing”. Or what ”flipped the switch” even means. Thank you Google.

(Sigh) I feel old, and out of touch.