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Tipsheet

Kristi Noem Bans TikTok: 'Like Digital Fentanyl'

AP Photo/Stephen Groves File

Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) has implemented a ban on TikTok for all state employees on their government-issued devices over speculation that the app is used by the Chinese government to gather Americans’ personal information. 

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Executive Order 2022-10, would ban federal workers, agencies, and contractors from downloading the app onto their phones or visiting the website. 

In a statement, Noem criticized the Chinese Communist Party, saying that her state will have no part of it. 

“South Dakota will have no part in the intelligence gathering operations of nations who hate us,” Noem said, adding “the Chinese Communist Party uses information that it gathers on TikTok to manipulate the American people, and they gather data of the devices that access the platform.”

“Because of our serious duty to protect the private data of South Dakota citizens, we must take this action immediately. I hope other states will follow South Dakota’s lead, and Congress should take broader action, as well,” Noem continued. 

TikTok, which is owned by a Beijing-based company, has been scrutinized by Republicans over the ability of the Chinese government to use the app to access American’s online user data. 

More than 700 million people use the China-owned app worldwide, with at least 100 million being in the U.S. 

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In 2020, former President Trump tried to ban the social media platform but ultimately failed. 

Meanwhile, several Republicans called out President Joe Biden for not taking TikTok as a national security concern seriously. 

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) recently compared the social media app to fentanyl, claiming it is like “digital fentanyl” in that kids are becoming addicted to it. 

“Tiktok is owned by ByteDance, ByteDance is controlled by the CCP. That means the CCP can track your location, it can track your keystrokes, it can censor your news — why would we give our foremost adversary that amount of power?” Gallagher said, adding “and just like actual fentanyl, it ultimately goes back to the Chinese Communist Party.” 

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