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TikTok Slaps US Government With Lawsuit Over Potential Ban

Source: NurPhoto / Getty / TikTok

Following President Biden keeping his promise and signing the bill that could ban TikTok in the United States, the social media platform is suing in hopes of keeping that from happening.

Spotted on the AP, TikTok and its China-based parent company ByteDance sued the US Government, challenging the law and calling for the potential banning of the popular video-sharing app and most young adults’ source of “news” if it fails to find a US-approved buyer.

ByteDance has nine months to find a buyer and gets a three-month grace period if it finds a US-approved buyer.

The lawsuit claims the US Government’s law is an attack on free speech that has never been done before and unfairly singles out TikTok.

Per The AP:

In its lawsuit, ByteDance says the new law vaguely paints its ownership of TikTok as a national security threat in order to circumvent the First Amendment, despite no evidence that the company poses a threat. It also says the law is so “obviously unconstitutional” that its sponsors are instead portraying it as a way to regulate TikTok’s ownership.

“For the first time in history, 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,” ByteDance asserts in the lawsuit filed in a Washington appeals court.

President Biden signed the law as part of a larger foreign aid package. This law is the first time the US has imposed a potential ban on a single social media company.

Advocates of free speech argue that the law is similar to the behavior of oppressive regimes like China, which is ironic because the US is trying to keep US citizen’s private data out of the hands of the Chinese government.

More Details From TikTok’s Lawsuit

The lawsuit states that ByteDance has no intention of selling TikTok, which aligns with reports that the company prefers a ban over a sale. However, if it did, ByteDance would need Beijing’s blessing to make that happen.

Another sticking point is TikTok’s algorithm, which has been the “key to the success of TikTok in the United States,” which the Chinese government “made clear” in its lawsuit would be part of any sale.

According to both entities, the new law would force them to shut down in the US by Jan.19 because operating in the US would be technologically and legally impossible.

The lawsuit also claims that a US-only version of TikTok would be technologically impossible because there would be no “operational relationship” between the US TikTok app and the Chinese company.

While we don’t know what TikTok’s fate will be, one thing is for sure: This will be a long, drawn-out situation.