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Elon Musk sides with Trump after he speaks out against TikTok ban

Natalie Musumeci   

Elon Musk sides with Trump after he speaks out against TikTok ban
  • Elon Musk said he agrees with Donald Trump's opposition to a potential TikTok ban.
  • Trump believes that a TikTok ban would benefit Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg who he called "Zuckerschmuck."

Elon Musk backed Donald Trump Friday after the former president spoke out against a potential TikTok ban in the United States while snubbing Meta CEO and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

"If you get rid of TikTok, Facebook and Zuckerschmuck will double their business," Trump posted on his social-media platform, Truth Social, late Thursday as he alleged that Facebook "cheated" in the 2020 presidential election, which he lost to President Joe Biden.

"I don't want Facebook, who cheated in the last Election, doing better. They are a true Enemy of the People!" the former president continued in the post.

Trump is awaiting trial on charges that he and his allies attempted to overthrow the 2020 election in Georgia. Also ironically, the Trump administration previously supported a TikTok ban.

Musk, the owner of the social media site X, sided with Trump's defense of TikTok, saying in a post on X, "Trump's statement there is correct."

Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Business Insider on Friday.

Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla CEO, was responding to a post by Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky who shared Trump's post and said: "If Congress bans TikTok, they will be acting just like the Chinese communists who have also banned TikTok . . . Why not just defend the first amendment?"

A newly-introduced bipartisan bill that could lead to the US banning TikTok, largely over fears of its ties to China, has been gaining steam.

If passed by Congress, the bill would force TikTok's China-based parent company, ByteDance, to sell its US TikTok operations to a non-Chinese company or have to grapple with a nationwide ban on the app.

ByteDance is not a publicly traded company, but The Information reported that in the second quarter of 2023, the company saw a 40% jump in revenue from the year earlier, with growth that outpaced American competitors like Meta.

Pew Research published a poll in January, reporting a third of US adults say they use TikTok — noting the the number grew by 12 percentage points from 2021.

The bill, dubbed the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, seeks to "protect the national security of the United States from the threat posed by foreign adversary controlled applications, such as TikTok and any successor application or service and any other application or service developed or provided by ByteDance Ltd. or an entity under the control of ByteDance Ltd."

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