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Marco Rubio Renewing Bipartisan Legislation To Ban TikTok In U.S.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is renewing the attempt to ban TikTok from being able to be used or downloaded in the United States amid concerns about the Chinese-based social media app’s threat to national security.

Rubio made the remarks during an appearance on CBS News‘ “Face The Nation” with host Margaret Brennan.

“We’re gonna go back to TikTok, people say, you know, ‘Why do we care about what some 16-year-olds are doing?’” said Rubio, who is the Ranking Member on the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I don’t think the threat is that some 16-year-old likes these cool videos that are on there, which I admit are- are attractive, obviously, because the artificial intelligence makes it so. It’s the massive amount of data that they’re collecting, not on one 16-year-old, not on a thousand 16 year-olds, but on millions and millions of Americans that give them commercial advantages, potentially the advantage of being able to shape American public opinion in a time of crisis, that- that just give them an extraordinary insights that allow them to steer the conversation in this country in any direction they want.”

Democrat Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (VA) agreed with Rubio, noting that the company is “responsible to the [Chinese] Communist Party.”

“138 million users in America use TikTok on a regular basis, average about 90 minutes a day,” Warner said. “I’m sure your network would love to have 138 million Americans spending 90 minutes a day on your network. And I’m not saying that the TikTok or Communist Party is driving the- the videos you see. But the- the fact is, the algorithms that determine what you see on TikTok, is determined out of Beijing by China. And the proof is, if you look at what Chinese kids are seeing on their version of TikTok, which emphasizes science and engineering, versus what our kids and kids around the world are seeing, it is dramatically different.”

Rubio went on to say that he is refiling legislation this year to ban TikTok in the U.S.

“It’s bipartisan, bicameral. Some people are not willing to go that far, but I certainly think it’s the right place to be,” Rubio said. “But in the end, we got to do something about it, whether it’s a ban or something else. I honestly don’t know, I- as I sit here with you today, I don’t know how our national security interests and the operation of TikTok in this country, as long as it’s owned by ByteDance, can coexist.”

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