The US government is being sued by TikTok over its plan to ban

The Hill

On Tuesday, TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance filed a high-stakes lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
They contend that TikTok has become a vital platform for Americans to share content, communicate and engage in public discourse (as well as meme-worthy cat videos).
As to this first part of their claim, it’s pretty tough to make a cogent legal argument that TikTok/ByteDance isn’t right.
Whether you’re a compensated influencer or simply a casual user, your use of TikTok is an expression, on social (that’s the key word) media, of your views.
All of this is correct — the only viable buyers for TikTok are going to be legally barred from buying it.
would be allowed even a sniff of this deal, as their acquiring TikTok would be profoundly anticompetitive.
Meta (which already has Instagram) plus TikTok is a straight-up monopoly; it’s a total no-go.
This really isn’t about TikTok or ByteDance, or even China — it’s about us.


TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance filed a high-profile lawsuit in the U.S. on Tuesday. S. the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals. Court action was taken against the U.S. s. the government, contesting a new law that would have required ByteDance to sell its American operations of TikTok or risk having the well-known social media app banned nationwide.

The primary contention in the legal dispute is that the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversaries Act infringes upon the First Amendment rights of the 102 million American users of TikTok.

TikTok and ByteDance contend in their lawsuit that the rule requiring the app to divest its U.S. s. It is unconstitutional to restrict free speech and expression in this way: either cease operations within a year or face total closure.

They argue that, in addition to meme-worthy cat videos, TikTok has developed into an essential medium for Americans to communicate, share content, and participate in public discourse. They contend that banning the app would prevent users from engaging in this virtual town square where they can express their basic right to free speech.

Regarding the first portion of their claim, it is difficult to present a convincing legal case against TikTok/ByteDance. Regardless of whether you use TikTok as a paid influencer or are just an occasional user, your use of the platform represents an expression of your opinions on social media. By practically eradicating TikTok in the U.S. s. , which is exactly what the law would do if it were to actually take effect. Put another way, the government is (select your legal buzzword here) restricting, stifling, preventing, or ending your capacity to express yourself on social media, which is a modern form of expression.

Additionally, the plaintiffs claim that the government has not produced any hard proof of a real national security risk that TikTok poses, which would have required the implementation of such a drastic measure. They contend that the law lacks precise guidelines for compliance and is unduly broad and ambiguous. Additionally, according to ByteDance, even if they manage to find a buyer for TikTok’s U.S. s. The law would not be practically applicable in these circumstances because it would be extremely difficult to get permission from the Chinese government to market the app’s sophisticated content recommendation algorithm.

All of this is true; the only people who could possibly purchase TikTok will be denied permission by law. Not a single possibility exists that TikTok’s natural acquisition candidates—Meta, Google, etc. wouldn’t be given a chance at this deal because it would be blatantly anticompetitive for them to acquire TikTok. Combining Meta (which already has Instagram) with TikTok is an outright monopoly and should be avoided.

Legally speaking, this case is a major test of the government’s ability to impose restrictions on a social media platform while upholding the users’ constitutional rights and using national security as justifications. According to constitutional experts, the government will almost certainly have to prove that there is an immediate and serious threat to national security and that the TikTok ban is the least restrictive way to deal with it.

I wish you luck on that.

The courts would be interested in knowing what additional steps the government took, how these actions were carried out, what other corrective actions were done, and other details regarding the alleged issues that TikTok and its parent company, ByteDance, posed.

However, no other significant actions were done. The administration chose to pursue what was essentially the nuclear option, which is unlikely to withstand the breadth and depth of examination from not only the U.S. s. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but eventually, the Supreme Court itself most likely as well.

All of this is unquestionably very significant legal and social material.

Not only will the TikTok case’s final ruling establish a significant precedent regarding the government’s ability to prohibit or force the sale of a social media platform, but it will also provide crucial clarification on how well the courts and the legal system comprehend the means, venues, and purposes of modern communication.

This really has nothing to do with China, TikTok, or ByteDance; it’s all about us. In the end, it comes down to our actions as consumers and whether we need a cautious, protective government to control what we do and how we interact on social media—or, depending on your point of view, a nanny state.

Whatever your stance, one thing is for sure: the future of one of the most widely used apps in the world, as well as our preferences and habits when it comes to social media, will be closely monitored as this new legal filing plays out over the next few months.

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