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Musk joins Trump to denounce TikTok ban as 'censorship, govt control'



SpaceX CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday  expressed his support for the former U.S. president Donald Trump in denouncing a potential ban on TikTok, which enjoys widespread popularity among U.S. youth. 

The billionaire argued on Tuesday that a possible TikTok ban in the U.S. could limit access to the app, which he said amounts to "censorship and government control," and Donald Trump, who once attempted to remove TikTok from U.S. app stores, said on Monday that a TikTok ban could benefit Facebook, censuring it as "an enemy of the people." 

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a bill on Wednesday that would require TikTok's Chinese owner ByteDance about six months to divest the short-video app used by about 170 million Americans or face a ban. The vote will proceed under fast-track rules that require a two-thirds of majority to vote "yes" for the measure to pass.

Donald Trump said TikTok was a national security threat but also said a ban on the popular app would hurt some kids and only strengthen Meta Platforms' Facebook. "I'm not looking to make Facebook double the size," Trump told CNBC on Monday. "And if you if you ban TikTok, (then) Facebook and others, but mostly Facebook, will be a big beneficiary. And I think Facebook has been very dishonest."

Trump also said a TikTok ban could impact young people. "There are a lot of young kids on TikTok who will go crazy without it," he said. "There's a lot of good and there's a lot of bad with TikTok."

A screenshot of a tweet posted by Elon Musk, March 12, 2024.
A screenshot of a tweet posted by Elon Musk, March 12, 2024.

A screenshot of a tweet posted by Elon Musk, March 12, 2024.

In the wake of legislation that is expected to be passed by the U.S. Congress this week, Musk took to his social media platform X, and said the bill will amount to "censorship and government control".

"This law is not just about TikTok, it is about censorship and government control! If it were just about TikTok, it would only cite "foreign control" as the issue, but it does not," he wrote on X.

The billionaire also re-shared a post of Representative Thomas Massie, who voiced opposition against the potential TikTok ban, calling it a 'Trojan horse' that  will only empower the president to ban not only apps but also websites. 

(With input from Reuters)

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