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TikTok Creators Sue US Over Potential Ban

TikTok Creators Sue US Over Potential Ban

Sarah Hardacre June 06, 2024
June 06, 2024
Eight TikTok creators have come together to sue the US government over a new law that could ban TikTok in the US. The plaintiffs claim that the law infringes on their First Amendment rights.

The law passed the House and Senate and was subsequently signed into law in April 2024. It requires TikTok owner ByteDance, which is Chinese-based, to sell TikTok within the next nine months, or it will face a ban in the US.

The plaintiffs claim that the imposed ban removes an entire medium of communication and all the content it holds, while most of that content is protected under free speech laws.The lawsuit was filed with the Washington appeals court, and TikTok is covering the legal costs. The law firm representing the creators is the same firm that represented the creators who challenged Montana’s TikTok ban in 2023.

The TikTok creators come from various backgrounds, from ranching to skin care production to baking. They use TikTok in many ways, with one user saying he leverages it to raise awareness about LGBTQ issues while others use it to gain their financial livelihood.

TikTok has also submitted its own lawsuit to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. It claims that “Congress has enacted a law that subjects a single, named speech platform to a permanent, nationwide ban, and bars every American from participating in a unique online community with more than 1 billion people worldwide.”

TikTok states in its claim that the Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act is “simply not possible: not commercially, not technologically, not legally,” particularly when considering the 270-day timeline, which ultimately will force a ban on TikTok in the US.

It goes on to claim that even if ByteDance were able to sell TikTok’s American operation, it would cut American users off from the rest of TikTok’s user base globally. It also states that this law has been created based on the “hypothetical possibility that TikTok could be misused in the future, without citing specific evidence.”

The law came into effect despite TikTok taking steps to mitigate risks raised by regulators, such as investing in developing a hosting capability in the US to hold all US user data and ensuring the facility is run by an American company.

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