HUNTSVILLE — As more states ban TikTok on government devices, talks of a blanket ban at the federal level are becoming more frequent. However, U.S. Rep. Dale Strong (R-Huntsville) said the best thing outside of outlawing the app would be for Americans to stop using it.

"I support banning it," Strong said of TikTok. "But the thing that we need is parents and people from here to stop using it."

Strong said the dangers of the app, both in terms of data security and psychological manipulation, should be enough to scare people away from using it.

"You don't need government to tell you that TikTok is a threat to America," Strong declared. "Everybody here knows that that is a platform that is taking U.S. information to the Chinese government, to the Chinese people. And again, they're watching everything that we do. But it shouldn't take the government making this move. The people of America ought to take the move themselves."

As pervasive as the app already is in the United States and around the world, Strong said it might take being personally impacted by the negative side of the app for people to either stop using or ask for more government intervention.

"In many cases, people want less government, 'Let us have whatever platform we want,' but whenever you start talking about other countries taking an app and taking that data and compiling it and using and against the people of our country, that's whenever it's a little different situation," he added.

Strong connected TikTok to the recent Chinese spy balloon incident, saying both are examples of the communist country's ongoing efforts to collect American's sensitive information.

"A lot of that ties in together, but we've got to protect our country. We've got to put America first," he said.

TikTok is one of the most popular apps in the world, with a reported 2 billion downloads worldwide.

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email [email protected].

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.