Creators on TikTok Sue the US Government to Stop the Ban

Creators who use TikTok to reach their audiences are now suing the US government to put a stop to the banning of the app.

The US government put their livelihoods at risk, but they aren’t going down without a fight. A group of creators who use TikTok to reach their audiences has filed a lawsuit against the US government. This in a bid to thwart the banning of the app that made many of their careers. From Yahoo! News:

A group of TikTok creators have joined the legal fight to keep the app from being banned in the United States. Eight creators have sued the US government in an effort to block a law requiring TikTok’s parent company ByteDance to sell the service.

The lawsuit claims that the “Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act” is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment rights of the creators who depend on the platform. “They have found their voices, amassed significant audiences, made new friends, and encountered new and different ways of thinking—all because of TikTok’s novel way of hosting, curating, and disseminating speech,” it states. “The Act’s ban of TikTok threatens to deprive them, and the rest of the country, of this distinctive means of expression and communication.”

Techdirt is offering additional coverage on the story, noting that the law firm that was hired was successful in the lawsuit against Montana which thwarted a similar ban in that state. Much like Mike Masnick, I’ve heard the arguments that TikTok has no real right to free speech as it’s a foreign company and a lawsuit from the creators and users would be more effective. I’m really skeptical about this claim as well, but even if that was accurate, the argument is kind of a moot point thanks to this lawsuit in the first place.

Either way, the lawsuit pairs nicely with the lawsuit filed by TikTok itself. It only furthers the argument that the TikTok ban that was earlier signed into law is obviously unconstitutional. Things got rather dicey when a congressional committee threatened organizations with politically motivated investigations if they dared to help TikTok defend its free speech rights in the US. Clearly, that hasn’t deterred the law firms from representing both TikTok and TikTok users.

The ban was sparked over unproven allegations that the platform is some sort of spy machine for China and a tool for Chinese foreign interference. Hundreds of thousands of creators have basically been threatened thanks to this effort to ban the app, creators who helped to contribute billions of dollars into the US economy. Should TikTok get successfully banned, it will only further cement the market dominating positions of the likes of Meta and Google.

Either way, the creators right to continue their careers now hang in the balance as their future’s are now before the courts.

Drew Wilson on Mastodon, Twitter and Facebook.

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