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NDIS Minister Expresses Concern Over TikTok Impact on Children’s Wellbeing

Bill Shorten supported the government’s decision not to implement a ban, and Opposition Leader Peter Dutton also refrained from blocking the app.

NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) Minister Bill Shorten expressed concerns regarding the impact of TikTok on Australian children amidst growing calls for a ban on the popular video app.

During an interview with 9 News, Minister Shorten mentioned that the federal Labor government would not enforce a complete ban on TikTok, which is based in Beijing.

“The government has stated that we will not ban the app. We will rely on the advice of security agencies,” he stated on March 15.

“For government phones and sensitive government phones, we have decided not to use the app.

“Therefore, we will follow the guidance of experts and proceed cautiously.”

Despite his concerns about TikTok’s security issues, the minister emphasized the need to examine the app’s impact on children.

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“As a parent, I believe there should be a separate conversation about how social media affects children, specifically,” he remarked.

“The algorithms used by these platforms, I believe, have a harmful impact on children … I don’t support TikTok at all, but when it comes to national security, we will heed the advice of security experts.”

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has called on the Labor government to take stronger action against TikTok.

However, Mr. Dutton did not advocate for an absolute ban on the app, stating that the decision would depend on the advice provided by national security advisors to the government.

“If they indicate that there is a serious issue because young children and Australians of all ages are using TikTok, and their personal information is being collected, their images are being captured, and Australians are being exploited through their devices, then the prime minister has a responsibility to act in the best interest of Australians,” he explained.

“Now, whether that involves banning TikTok, that will be determined by the guidance provided.”

US House of Representatives Passes Bill That Could Ban TikTok

Mr. Shorten’s statement comes shortly after the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that could potentially ban TikTok from the United States and grant the president new authority to target foreign companies operating within the country.

Under this legislation, TikTok will need to disassociate from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, or face removal from U.S. app stores and hosting services.

Additionally, it would empower the U.S. president to require the divestment of any social media company based in China, Iran, North Korea, or Russia with over a million users if they are deemed as threats to national security.

President Joe Biden has committed to signing the bill into law if it passes through the Senate.

Andrew Thornebrooke contributed to this article.

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