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Donald Trump Opposes TikTok Ban Because It Would Boost Business for Facebook and ‘Zuckerschmuck,’ a ‘True Enemy of the People’

TikTok, the massively popular video app owned by Chinese internet giant ByteDance, apparently has an ally in Donald Trump.

The former U.S. president expressed opposition to a national ban of TikTok not for, say, First Amendment reasons but because such a move would likely boost the fortunes of Meta’s Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Trump, in a post Thursday evening on Truth Social, the social-media service he is affiliated with, called the CEO of Meta “Zuckerschmuck,” using the vulgar Yiddish word for penis.

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“If you get rid of TikTok, Facebook and Zuckerschmuck will double their business,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “I don’t want Facebook, who cheated in the last Election, doing better. They are a true Enemy of the People!”

As president, Trump — citing national security concerns over TikTok’s China ties — had sought to force TikTok parent ByteDance to sell its stake in the app, but that effort was shot down by federal courts. This week, a bill that would force ByteDance to divest its interest in TikTok within 165 days or face a ban in the U.S. advanced out of a House committee with unanimous support.

Trump shared his thoughts on TikTok and Facebook amid his torrent of attacks on President Joe Biden, who delivered the State of the Union address on Thursday. Biden and Trump are in all likelihood heading for a rematch in the 2024 U.S. president election.

It’s not clear what Trump meant by claiming Facebook “cheated” in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

Trump was banned or suspended by numerous platforms in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, including by Facebook and Instagram, for violating rules against inciting violence. Last year, Meta reinstated Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts with “new guardrails in place to deter repeat offenses.”

At a 2021 congressional hearing, Zuckerberg testified, “We did our part to secure the integrity of our election. Then President Trump gave a speech… calling on people to fight. I believe that the former president should be responsible for his words and the people who broke the law should be responsible for their actions.”

Truth Social is operated by Trump Media & Technology Group, which has proposed a merger with special purpose acquisition company Digital World Acquisition Corp. to become a publicly traded entity. The merger will be subject of a March 22 vote by DWAC shareholders. Trump’s stake in TMTG could be worth up to $4 billion with the DWAC deal.

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