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Trump Flips the Script on TikTok, Points Finger at Biden for Possible Ban

While it appears that the saga involving former President Donald Trump, TikTok, and now, his successor, President Joe Biden, continues, recent developments demonstrate a marked shift in Trump’s stance on the popular social media app that is a favorite among the younger generation. Once at loggerheads with TikTok, Trump now appears to have not only reversed his stance on banning the app but has also begun accusing Biden of wanting to ban it — a claim Biden’s administration somewhat denies. In mid-2020, Trump issued executive orders aiming to ban the Chinese-owned app, TikTok, citing concerns that the personal data of U.S. citizens using the app could be accessed by the Chinese government. Amid rigorous legal battles, the threat of the ban loomed over TikTok for several months. However, since the commencement of Biden’s administration, any potential ban seems to have taken a back seat. Yet, the new administration hasn’t completely ruled out the possibility of a future ban or restrictions. The tale thus takes a surprising turn with Trump reversing his former conviction and accusing Biden of wanting to ban TikTok. Trump’s reversal on TikTok is most evident in his statements and interviews since stepping down from the presidency. It’s quite the contrast considering he was previously unyielding in his desire to either ban the app completely or force a sale to a U.S. owned company. He has now taken up the mantle of defending the popular social media platform that boasts about 100 million users in the U.S alone. This is a shift that has raised some eyebrows and brought forth questions about his objectives behind this strategy. The accusations leveled at Biden are largely based on extended investigation into TikTok’s data and privacy practices. Moreover, the Biden administration’s decision to review, rather than revoke, Trump’s policy has been interpreted by some as an indication of a possible future ban, providing fodder for Trump’s accusations. However, the Biden administration clarifies that their stance is not about banning TikTok outright, but instead, about ensuring that American data isn’t ending up in the hands of a potential adversary via any app — TikTok being just one among many. Biden’s administration seems focused on developing a comprehensive, strategic framework to address the broader ongoing risks of data protection and privacy, rather than focusing on a single app. In addition to TikTok, they are also scrutinizing other foreign-owned apps. This turnaround by Trump, from vehement opposition to unexpected advocacy, has created a new discourse around data security and foreign-owned apps.

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