Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is arguing that the GOP will take a hit in popularity with young voters if the party succeeds in banning TikTok, an app with ties to the Chinese Communist Party, according to a report.
As Paul put it, Republicans could “continuously lose elections for a generation” if they succeed in banning TikTok across the U.S.
“We are in a political world,” Paul told Politico. “We shouldn’t be completely oblivious to the fact that a lot of young people are on there and it is, frankly, their freedom of speech.”
HOUSE, SENATE REPUBLICANS PUSH FOR RULES CHANGE TO BAN USE OF TIKTOK
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is arguing that the GOP will take a hit in popularity with young voters if they succeed in banning TikTok, an app with ties to the Chinese Communist Party, according to a recent report from Politico. (GREG NASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Paul has sparred with Sen. Josh Hawley, R-MO. and other Republicans over his stance on TikTok.
Paul argued with Hawley in March after the Kentucky senator blocked Hawley’s bill to ban TikTok. Hawley responded that Paul’s arguments about turning off young voters was “ridiculous” and “so silly I don’t think it’s worth responding to,” according to Politico.
“Listen, if we can’t win younger voters because we’re not on TikTok, we got serious problems in this party,” Hawley said.
BILL TO BAN TIKTOK SLAMMED AS ‘PATRIOT ACT FOR THE DIGITAL AGE’
Paul has sparred with Sen. Josh Hawley, R-MO. and other Republicans over his stance on TikTok. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Republicans have led the way in calls to ban TikTok in the federal government, calling it “spyware.”
Fifteen lawmakers in both the Senate and House, led by Sen. Tom Tillis, R-N.C., and Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, wrote to Democratic committee leaders to urge them to approve rules changes that would ban TikTok use in Congress. While Republicans and Democrats are largely united in opposition to TikTok, some Democratic lawmakers still use the app for campaigning and outreach.
“Members of Congress must lead by example and immediately stop using the platform for official communications,” the GOP lawmakers wrote in a letter, adding that TikTok is effectively “spyware.”
WHY TIKTOK IS SO HARD TO BAN IN THE US, ACCORDING TO EXPERTS
Courts blocked a prior bid by the Trump administration to ban TikTok in part on the grounds that such a move violated free speech protections.
Various experts on data privacy told Fox News Digital back in December that TikTok poses a serious security concern.
“The TikTok app collects a lot of information, above and beyond what it needs,” Vanderbilt professor and cybersecurity expert Douglas Schmidt said.
“[TikTok] collects things like device location, calendars, contacts. There’s also concerns that the app itself may be written in a way that allows it to take control of the [user’s] phone.”
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“TikTok hounds its users relentlessly into providing and sharing more than they may want to share,” Schmidt also said.
Fox News Digital has reached out to Paul’s office for additional comment.
Jeffrey Clark is an associate editor for Fox News Digital. He has previously served as a speechwriter for a cabinet secretary and as a Fulbright teacher in South Korea. Jeffrey graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 with a degree in English and History.
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