Florida lawmakers led charge against TikTok

By The Numbers

(OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — President Donald Trump signed an executive order late Thursday night forcing the divestment of TikTok by its owner, ByteDance. But the conversation surrounding the app began last month with lawmakers from Florida leading the conversation.

Florida’ senators, Republican Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, along with three other Republican senators wrote a letter last month to the Director of National Intelligence, the FBI head and the head of Homeland Security. In the letter, they outlined concerns that the Chinese Communist Party could “use its control over TikTok to distort or manipulate” the forum, which representatives say has become popular for “younger Americans to engage in political conversations.”

A tweet from Sen. Scott was posted just days July 31, when President Trump said he had plans to ban the social media platform.

But how widely used is TikTok in the United States?

The number of TikTok users in the Uniter States began skyrocketing this past spring when much of the country was isolating due to the coronavirus.

The app currently has more than 175 million downloads in the United States. That makes the U.S. the country with the third-highest number of downloads after India and China.

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