TikTok Users Sue Federal Government Over New Law That Could Lead To Ban Of Popular App

On Tuesday, a number of well-known TikTok users filed a lawsuit against the federal government over a new regulation that would either require the sale of the hugely popular video-sharing app or result in its outright prohibition in the US.

Source: Yahoo News

Disseminating Expressive Content

With millions of TikTok followers combined, the eight users claimed that the bill signed by President Biden last month violated their First Amendment rights by threatening to shut down a communication platform that has become a commonplace aspect of American society.

They further asserted that they are prohibited by law from both producing and disseminating expressive content via the publication of their choice and from accessing content created by other users.

The people engaged in the legal dispute are Steven King of Buckeye, Arizona, with 6.8 million followers on TikTok; Christopher Townsend of Philadelphia, Mississippi, with 2.5 million followers; and Chloe Joy Sexton of Memphis, Tennessee, with 2.2 million followers.

They claimed that the law “undermines the free marketplace of ideas and the nation’s founding principles.” Congress is prohibited from restricting speech due to its substance, perspectives, editorial procedures, or the identities of speakers or publishers by the First Amendment of our Constitution.”

The Protecting Americans from the Adversary Controlled Applications Act is being challenged in this second federal court lawsuit, which also aims to prevent the Biden administration from implementing the law.

Last Monday, TikTok and its parent business ByteDance filed a separate case in federal court in Washington, arguing that the law violates the First Amendment. Legislators and American national security officials expressed worries about TikTok and issued warnings that the Chinese government would use the app to spy on Americans or weaponize content to sway public opinion, which led to the implementation of the measure.

The popularity of TikTok has been fueled by its strong recommendation algorithm, and the site has stated in court documents that the Chinese government is against the technology’s divestiture.

To Sow Discord In The Country

If ByteDance’s activities were to be terminated, TikTok would be “without access to the recommendation engine that has created a unique style and community that cannot be replicated on any other platform.”

Users accused Congressmen who demanded that the app be prohibited of fabricating “a fiction that TikTok curates content to push propaganda” and purposefully amplifying videos meant to sow discord in the country.
TikTok access restrictions are not new; the app is prohibited on state-issued smartphones in over 30 states and by the federal government because to national security concerns.

In 2020, the Trump administration made an attempt to outlaw the app, but TikTok and users who opposed the former president’s executive order against the platform were successful in federal court challenges. A Montana law that forbids the app in part due to First Amendment concerns was halted by a judge last year.

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