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Creators Of TikTok Content Sue The U.S. Government Over Popular Platform’s Ban



FILE - The TikTok logo is displayed on a smartphone screen in Tokyo on Sept. 28, 2020. TikTok says it's going to start automatically labeling content that's made by artificial intelligence when it's uploaded from certain platforms. TikTok says its efforts are an attempt to combat misinformation from being spread on its social media platform. The announcement came on ABC's “Good Morning America” on Thursday, May 9, 2024. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

(CTN News) – On Tuesday, eight TikTok content creators sued the U.S. government again, challenging the new federal rule that will prohibit the popular social media site nationally if its China-based parent firm doesn’t sell its stakes within a year.

In a second lawsuit filed last week, TikTok argued that the rule infringes users’ First Amendment rights to free speech. Likewise, the creators’ attorneys argued. If the case goes to the Supreme Court, it may be heard.

The complaint was filed Tuesday by a Texas rancher who appeared in a TikTok commercial,

An Arizona creator who uses TikTok to document his daily life and raise awareness of LGBTQ issues, and a business owner who sells skincare products on the Shop.

TikTok is used by the producers as a means of expressing themselves, learning, advocating causes, sharing opinions, creating communities, and even making money.

“It said the new law will rob them and the country of this distinctive means of expression and communication. “They have found their voices, amassed significant audiences, made new friends, and encountered new and different ways of thinking because of  novel way of hosting, curating, and disseminating speech,” it said..”

A TikTok representative claimed the corporation was paying for Washington appeals court litigation. The law firm that represented creators who challenged Montana’s platform prohibition last year is leading it. A judge halted that statute in November.

The federal measure comes amid significant strategic rivalry between the U.S. and China on a variety of issues, including China’s support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. US senators and administration officials have raised worries about ability to protect user data from Chinese authorities and propagate pro-China propaganda, which TikTok denies.

ByteDance, parent business, must sell the platform to a qualified buyer within nine months by law. A company in a sale will have a three-month extension.

In their complaint last week, TikTok and ByteDance said they would have to close by Jan. 19 because operating in the U.S. wouldn’t be financially, technologically, or legally feasible.

They claimed ByteDance could not separate its U.S. TikTok platform from the rest of TikTok, which has 1 billion users, most of them outside the U.S. The lawsuit claims a U.S.-only would be an island that operates independently.

It said that the Chinese government has “made clear” it will not allow a sale of the recommendation algorithm that populates users’ feeds and has been the “key to the success of in the United States.”

Brian Firebaugh, the Hubbard, Texas rancher in the creator case, said he launched his  account in 2020 to promote his cattle-related products online. This allowed him to quit his full-time job and live off, where he has over 430,000 followers.

Firebaugh, 44, said TikTok helped him develop an online community of ranchers and win a Netflix reality show that allowed him and his wife to adopt their son. Lost TikTok would disturb everything, he claimed.

“100% of our customers come from TikTok,”

Firebaugh added. “For that to go gone, you’re now robbing money from my family.” Following her job loss, 29-year-old Memphis resident Chloe Joy Sexton, who runs Chloe’s Giant Cookies, began experimenting with TikTok four years ago.

Sexton posted on various social media channels, but only TikTok made her baking popular. She now has over 2 million app followers and has disclosed personal facts including losing her mother to brain cancer and adopting her sister.

“There has been no evidence whatsoever that my information is in danger or anybody else’s,” said lawsuit plaintiff Sexton. Nobody—not the government or anyone else—has provided that. To base this purchase, this tug of war that impacts my life on a hypothetical hurts me because my government is not protecting me.”

The authors want the court to declare the statute unlawful and stop Attorney General Merrick Garland from enforcing it.


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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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