Elon Musk opposes TikTok ban, even if it helps his new social media platform X

The CEO of Twitter, Elon Musk, opposes a potential ban of the social media platform TikTok, even if it could help Musk's new ownership of Twitter. On Friday, Musk wrote, "TikTok should not be banned in the USA, even though such a ban may benefit the X [Twitter] platform. Doing so would be contrary to freedom of speech and expression." Musk's statement comes as the US House of Representatives is set to vote on a bill on Saturday that would force TikTok to dissociate from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, or face a possible ban. The bill has been written into a massive aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, which could help ease its passing through Congress.

TikTok has slammed the bill, saying it would hurt the US economy and undermine free speech. A company spokesman said a ban would "trample the free speech rights of 170 million Americans, devastate 7 million businesses, and shutter a platform that contributes $24 billion to the U.S. economy annually." The US and other countries have voiced concerns over TikTok's popularity with young people, alleging it could be used to spread propaganda for Beijing. Joe Biden reiterated his concerns about TikTok during a recent call with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The House of Representatives approved a similar bill in March, but it stalled in the Senate.

Musk's comments show a concern for potential precedence set by banning TikTok. Many of the replies to Musk's statement on Twitter expressed this worry, saying a TikTok ban could lead to bans on other social media and messaging services. Musk concluded his statement by saying, "A libertarian would say that if TikTok is secretly used as a surveillance tool, the solution is to not use TikTok."

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