TikTok is an addictive drug China’s government is providing to Americans, says the incoming chairman of a new House select committee on China.
GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin told NBC’s “Meet The Press” in an interview that aired Sunday that he calls TikTok “digital fentanyl” because “it’s highly addictive and destructive and we’re seeing troubling data about the corrosive impact of constant social media use, particularly on young men and women here in America,” and also because it “effectively goes back to the Chinese Communist Party.”
Gallagher, whom House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has appointed to chair the new select committee in the new Congress, has said he believes the video app should be banned in the United States. (McCarthy is the apparent front-runner to become House speaker when the new session begins Tuesday, though he still does not have enough vote commitments to be elected in the floor vote.)
TikTok, whose parent company, ByteDance, is Chinese-owned, has been banned from electronic devices managed by the US House of Representatives, according to an internal notice sent to House staff. Separately, the US government will ban TikTok from all federal devices as part of legislation included in the $1.7 trillion omnibus bill that President Joe Biden signed last week. The move comes after more than a dozen states in recent weeks have implemented their own prohibitions against TikTok on government devices.
TikTok has previously called efforts to ban the app from government devices “a political gesture that will do nothing to advance national security interests.” TikTok declined to comment on the House restrictions.