Literal Children Bombard Lawmakers With Phone Calls After Plea From TikTok

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Children and teenagers are calling congressional offices after TikTok sent a message to users urging them to oppose legislation being considered by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The committee announced Tuesday two bills, H.R. 7520, the Protecting Americans’ Data from Foreign Adversaries Act of 2024 and H.R. 7521, the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, would be marked up Thursday. A staff member for Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan of Florida posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that his office was receiving phone calls from high school students about the legislation. (RELATED: Farewell, Catturd? Nikki Haley Proposes Ban On Anonymous Social Media Accounts)

“We’re getting a lot of calls from high schoolers asking what a Congressman is,” the staffer wrote. “Yes really.”

H.R. 7520 would limit how data brokers could share “sensitive information” about users, according to the House committee’s release. H.R. 7521 would ban “foreign adversary controlled applications,” with TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, being named in the text of the legislation.

“It’s so so bad. Our phones have not stopped ringing,” one congressional staffer reportedly told Politico reporter Olivia Beavers. “They’re teenagers and old people saying they spend their whole day on the app and we cant take it away.”

At least two congressional offices reported that callers have threatened suicide over the legislation that could potentially force the sale of TikTok to an American company, Spectator political reporter Matthew Foldi said in a post on X. Foldi also noted at least one assassination threat in a separate post.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to multiple House offices. A spokesperson for Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee, confirmed they were getting calls.

“Here you have an example of an adversary controlled application lying to the American people and interfering with the legislative process in Congress,” Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, who chairs the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party said in a video alongside Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, the select committee’s ranking member. “In a weird way, it almost proves the point we’ve been making here.”

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testified at a March 2023 hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he refused to discuss allegations that China was engaged in persecution against Uyghur Muslims. The company is also under fire for its involvement in Chinese propaganda, the transmission of user data to China and dangerous challenges that resulted in accidental deaths.

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