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Elon Musk Says Banning TikTok Would be 'Contrary to Freedom of Speech and Expression'

'It is not what America stands for.'

Elon Musk Says Banning TikTok Would be 'Contrary to Freedom of Speech and Expression'

X owner Elon Musk has come out against a TikTok ban despite his acknowledgment that the ban would likely help his own social media platform.

Musk wrote in an X post on Friday that banning the popular app would be “contrary to freedom of speech” and “not what America stands for.”

"In my opinion, TikTok should not be banned in the USA, even though such a ban may benefit the 𝕏 platform," Musk wrote. "Doing so would be contrary to freedom of speech and expression. It is not what America stands for."

A "divest-or-ban" bill is currently being fast-tracked through Congress after being attached to a  $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel. A vote on the package is expected to take place as soon as Saturday evening.

TikTok has claimed it contributes $24 billion annually to the U.S. economy.

"It is unfortunate that the House of Representatives is using the cover of important foreign and humanitarian assistance to once again jam through a ban bill that 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," a TikTok spokesperson told CBS News.

The push to ban or force divestment comes after pro-Palestinian content began going extremely viral on the platform. Lawmakers claim that the bill is motivated by TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, having ties to the Chinese government.

TikTok has long denied having ties to China’s government.

Forbes reports, "The Chinese government has consistently condemned the TikTok bill on the grounds that it is unfair and anti-competitive. In March, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the U.S. has never found any evidence of national security threats posed by TikTok but has persisted in efforts to ban it anyway."

“Resorting to hegemonic moves when one could not succeed in fair competition disrupts the normal operation of businesses, undermines the confidence of international investors in the investment environment, sabotages the normal economic and trade order in the world and will eventually backfire on the U.S. itself,” Wenbin said.

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