TikTok creators sue US government over potential app ban

TikTok Ban AM AH 2

Last week, TikTok sued the US government after President Joe Biden signed a law to ban the app in the country. The company has received support from creators on the platform. A group of creators have filed a lawsuit opposing the potential ban on the popular video app. The lawsuit seeks to block the newly passed law that will ban TikTok in a year unless its Chinese parent company ByteDance sells the US arm of its business.

US TikTok creators sue the government over the new law to ban the app

The US lawmakers and security agencies have long labeled TikTok a national security threat due to its Chinese origin. ByteDance is alleged to have backdoors for the Chinese government, potentially exposing its user data. As such, the country plans to ban the app. The video-based social media platform is already banned from government devices in most US states. A bill that bans it across the nation also passed the House and Senate last month.

President Biden promptly approved the bill, turning it into law. ByteDance now has a year to either sell the US division of TikTok or face a ban. However, as expected, the company won’t go up without putting up a fight, and potentially winning the battle to continue its operations in the country. Two weeks after the law passed, TikTok filed a lawsuit challenging the US government and calling the law “unconstitutional.”

Eight TikTok creators have now followed up with a similar lawsuit. “Petition for review and complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief,” the lawsuit is titled. “Petitioners are among the 170 million Americans who create, publish, view, interact with, and share videos on TikTok,” the creators begin their complaint. Deep down into the lawsuit, they echo TikTok’s sentiment by calling the law unconstitutional because it violates their First Amendment rights.

The eight creators want the US government to retract the law and not enforce a nationwide ban on TikTok. They say a ban will “shutter a discrete medium of communication that has become part of American life.” The creators add such a move will be an “extraordinary restraint on speech.” While ByteDance can sell the platform and let Americans continue using it under someone else’s ownership, it says this option is infeasible.

TikTok is backing creators with legal fees

TikTok creators in the US likely wouldn’t have challenged the impending ban if the company hadn’t publicly announced that it would rather face a ban than sell the app. Perhaps it is a well-thought-out strategy from the Chinese firm. When Montana announced a statewide ban on the app last year, several creators sued the state and won. The ban never went into effect, and TikTok likely hopes for a similar outcome this time.

To that end, the company is backing the eight creators participating in this lawsuit by covering their legal fees. The creators are represented by the same law firm as the Montana creators last year. It remains to be seen whether TikTok can avoid a ban in the US. This could be an intense legal battle over the next year.

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