TikTok Sues US Government for Violating First Amendment Rights


TikTok’s ongoing struggle with the US government took an apparently decisive turn when the latter banned the former, effective in about a year.

person holding black samsung android smartphone
Person holding black samsung android smartphone with TikTok app. Photo by May Gauthier

But TikTok isn’t going down without a fight although it has other options such as spinning off the US side of things into its own, domestically headquartered entity. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen. For now, the company is going to take the US federal government to court for violating its First Amendment right to free speech.

NPR reports that the filing states:

“Banning TikTok is so obviously unconstitutional, in fact, that even the Act's sponsors recognized that reality, and therefore have tried mightily to depict the law not as a ban at all, but merely a regulation of TikTok's ownership.”

Further, the court filing speculates that if the government can do this kind of thing to TikTok, what protections can other companies expect?

“If Congress can do this, it can circumvent the First Amendment by invoking national security and ordering the publisher of any individual newspaper or website to sell to avoid being shut down. And for TikTok, any such divestiture would disconnect Americans from the rest of the global community.”

It seems the major contention is where the data on TikTok users is stored or who might potentially have access to it. Beyond that, there are also insinuations that the US government is somehow trying to help domestic titans better compete with the perenially popular TikTok. While that sounds salacious and fun, there’s not a lot to back it up, particularly given Meta’s aggressive rollout of new features and even platforms (in the case of Threads) to better compete with ByteDance’s platform.

Do you think TikTok has a case? Let us know any thoughts that you might have on the platform’s potential ban in the United States in the comments.

Don’t forget to stop by our photography news and check out a few of the other headlines we’ve covered over the past few weeks.

About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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