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Donald Trump calls Meta’s Facebook “Enemy of the People”, reverses TikTok ban stance

Former President Trump opposes a TikTok ban, accusing Meta’s Facebook of being “enemy of the people.” US lawmakers propose TikTok bans/divestiture, with President Biden willing to sign.



UNITED STATES: Former United States President Donald Trump has taken a surprising turn in his stance on the social media platform TikTok, arguing against a proposed ban and instead labelling Meta’s Facebook as an “enemy of the people.”

TikTok, owned by the Chinese tech giant ByteDance, has faced scrutiny from regulators over concerns that its ownership means it could be forced by China’s government to share private user data.

In an interview with CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’ show on Monday (11 March), Trump asserted that banning TikTok would only serve to bolster Meta’s Facebook, a company with which he has had a contentious relationship.

He argued, “Without TikTok, you can make Facebook bigger, and I consider Facebook to be an enemy of the people.”

Facebook imposed a two-year ban on Trump in the wake of the 6 January 2021, Capitol riot, a penalty that Meta subsequently revoked in February 2023.

“I think Facebook has been very dishonest. I think Facebook has been very bad for our country, especially when it comes to elections,” Trump said.

Following Trump’s statements, Meta Platforms experienced a notable decline, with a reported 4% drop, Cable News Network (CNN) reported.

Additionally, it also experienced a 1.2% decline on 8 March after a statement by Trump on Truth Social, where he strongly criticized Facebook as “a true Enemy of the People!”

Meta’s market valuation, plummeted by over US$60 billion since Trump’s verbal attacks began.

Market analysts attributed the downturn in Meta’s stocks directly to Trump’s comments, highlighting the detrimental impact of political entanglements on the company’s performance.

Gil Luria, an analyst at D.A. Davidson, emphasized the recurrent challenge for Facebook in navigating political controversies, noting that such conflicts seldom bode well for the tech giant.

“It has everything to do with the comments from former President Trump,” Gil Luria said.

“Facebook has gone through waves of being dragged into the political debate – and it never bodes well for them.”

In 2020, the Trump administration had previously attempted to ban TikTok from U.S. app stores citing similar concerns over data privacy.

Trump issued a formal directive to ByteDance, instructing them to divest their stake or potentially face regulatory constraints, although ultimately, this directive was not enforced.

His unexpected reversal on TikTok garnered attention as he opposed the proposed ban, which numerous members of Congress, including many Republicans, advocate for.

Bill to ban TikTok in the US

United States legislators have introduced multiple bills proposing either a ban on TikTok or the requirement for ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, to divest its holdings in the platform.

On Friday, (8 March), President Joe Biden announced his willingness to endorse legislation that mandates ByteDance to divest its TikTok holdings within approximately six months if the bill reaches his desk.

This decision followed unanimous approval of a TikTok regulation bill by a congressional committee on Thursday.

The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on this legislation during the current week.

The proposed TikTok regulation bill garnered unanimous support from the committee, and it will be subjected to a vote in the House under rules requiring two-thirds of members to approve it.

President Biden, a member of the Democratic Party said, “If they pass it, I’ll sign it,” reflecting his commitment to supporting the bill’s passage.

However, the bill’s fate in the Senate remains uncertain, with some lawmakers expressing a desire for modifications to the proposed legislation.

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Don’t they have more pressing issues to deal with other than this nonsense?

Same Meta Facebook that wayang and wayang yet no security check even for common ppl. Hackers just need to create fake acct there and how the ppl verify if the tech companies dun do their job.

TikTok oso the same … Put up media without ppl permission so whose security are they abusing?!?

Strange way the laws in PRC work and apply. What I understand What’s App, Google, esp Google search, for instances, are not allowed to operate. Whereas last read news if TTok is banned in 🇺🇸 , TTok will go all out to fight it.

What a joke. Reminds me of the similarity of laws in SG, the Administration of the day invoked to fight others. What’s common in PRC and PAP?