The petty President of the United States says his government will be banning the social media app TikTok from operating in America, and that it could happen as soon as this weekend.
Trump announced his plans to end use of the Chinese-owned video sharing platform in the U.S. to reporters on Friday, reports NBC.
“As far as TikTok is concerned we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump said aboard Air Force One as he returned to Washington after a fundraising trip to Florida.
Trump described the action as “severance” and said he could sign an order as soon as Saturday. “Well, I have that authority,” he said.
“I can do it with an executive order or that,” Trump said, referring to emergency economic powers.
The declaration comes from a president who has not hidden his obsession with China since taking office, and follows rumors that Microsoft is in talks to acquire the app from the Chinese company that owns it.
Trump also said on Friday that he does not approve of a deal between the two companies, according to NBC.
Are private negotiations between two businesses something that the federal government should be inserting itself in? Who knows? It’s 2020 and the Trump Administration has been hopping merrily along for almost four years, upending rules of governmental propriety with impunity.
TikTok has soared in popularity in the U.S. this year, as much of the country has been using the platform to occupy themselves with all sorts of viral videos and challenges while staying-at-home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Young people in America have also been leveraging the platform to carry out resistance against the Trump Administration, most notably using it to organize thousands of fake registrations to the President’s campaign rally in Tulsa in June that ended up being laughably under-attended. I suspect this embarrassment has more than little bit to do with Trump now deciding to target TikTok.
If this administration truly does end up banning the social media platform from America it will be bear more than a passing resemblance to the Chinese government, which notoriously restricts the internet use of its citizens and already stops them from accessing Twitter, Facebook, and several other technology platforms that Trump himself has also threatened to regulate through the power of his office.