U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, spoke on the Senate floor last week to protect Americans’ First Amendment rights and oppose a Senate bill that would ban TikTok. Dr. Paul’s objection comes from a commitment to defend our Constitutional rights and prevent government censorship:
Congressional Republicans have come up with a national strategy to permanently lose elections for a generation: Ban a social media app called TikTok that 94 million, primarily young Americans, use.
This GOP strategy comes while polls indicate that 71% of young women and 53% of young men voted for a Democrat candidate for Congress. Now admittedly, many Democrats have joined Republicans in calling for this ban but like most such issues, the blame will stick to Republicans more.
The banning TikTok strategy also comes while the GOP simultaneously complains of liberal U.S. social media companies canceling and censoring conservatives. So, without a hint of irony, many of these same “conservatives” now agitate to ban a platform owned by an international group that includes several American investors.
So, on the one hand, Republicans complain about censorship, while with the other hand, these same Republicans advocate to censor social media apps that they worry are influenced by the Chinese.
Before banning TikTok, these censors might want to discover that China’s government already bans TikTok. Hmmm . . . do we really want to emulate China’s speech bans?
To those who are worried that the Chinese government might somehow now have access to millions of American teenagers’ information, realize that all social media sucks up personal data that people voluntarily provide. If you’re going to ban TikTok, what’s next?
Arguably, several domestic apps censor conservatives more. I know, because I’ve been censored and banned. I’ve got no love lost for any of these companies. I have a host of complaints about domestic social media platforms that “cancel” conservatives but I’m not in favor of banning them or forcing them to accept my opinions.
If you don’t like TikTok or Facebook or YouTube, don’t use them. But don’t think any interpretation of the Constitution gives you the right to ban them.
I hope saner minds will reflect on which is more dangerous: videos of teenagers dancing or the precedent of the US government banning speech. For me, it’s an easy answer, I will defend the Bill of Rights against all comers, even, if need be, from members of my own party.
.@RandPaul is right. Here are three reasons why letting the federal government prohibit TikTok is an idiotic idea. pic.twitter.com/x5CHjw2cq6
— reason (@reason) April 3, 2023
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