Gavin Newsom is sticking to his TikTok account after multiple states and Congress banned the Chinese-owned app
California Governor Gavin Newsom is still clinging to his TikTok account as more and more red and blue states across the country at least partially ban it.
Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress banned the use of TikTok on federal government devices in a bill signed by President Biden a few weeks ago, citing security concerns.
The US Armed Forces has also banned TikTok from military devices, and more than half of the country’s states have passed laws banning the video-sharing app from being loaded onto government devices.
TikTok is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, which moved its headquarters to Singapore in 2020. Critics say the Chinese government has access to user data, such as browsing history and location, and can spread communist propaganda through the app.
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Fears about the popular social media site grew last year after reports that a Chinese group TikTok had accessed the data of American TikTok users, including two journalists.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in California have introduced bills that would restrict TikTok on government devices.
California State Senate Republican Leader Brian Jones and Democratic state Sen. Bill Dodd have proposed legislation that would ban public employees from downloading social media apps like TikTok because of “country concerns.”
Dodd told KCRA that while Newsom does not have state-issued devices, he may have employees managing his accounts.
“I mean bad luck,” Dodd said. “It’s up to you to protect people’s data, we’re all responsible.”
Jones said he hoped Newsom would delete his accounts.
“I hope the governor will follow the Senate’s lead and disable his account as well,” Jones told CBS 8, “until we can be sure these issues are resolved.”
Newsom’s office responded to the outlet, saying, “We have our experts looking into this matter, but have nothing more to share at this time.”
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The governor’s press office did not respond to questions from Fox News Digital about whether the governor accessed TikTok on government devices or if he believed there were any security issues. to TikTok or if it considers deleting its accounts in the future.
Newsom has 432,000 followers on his official “gavinnewsom” and “cagovernor” TikTok accounts. One of the governor’s latest videos shows him criticizing “red state politicians” for being “authoritarian.”
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It’s not that Newsom is against banning what he considers harmful. In 2020, it announced that it would ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035 in an effort to combat climate change. In 2021, he announced that he would ban the sale of new gas-powered lawn equipment by 2024 and signed a law banning major retailers from adding a gender-neutral line for children’s toys.
While efforts to restrict TikTok are bipartisan, Democrats still use the app widely on their personal devices. A recent State Newsroom analysis found that at least 32 members of Congress — all Democrats and one independent — had TikTok accounts as of early January, and at least half of those members “currently serve on or are working on committees.” dealing with foreign affairs”. , US Military, Investigations and National Security”.
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To avoid massive US bans, TikTok has offered to increase its transparency by allowing US officials to track its algorithms as part of a $1.5 billion reorganization of its US operations.
Fox News’ Breck Dumas and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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