TikTok Could Sue the Trump Administration
Could two of the biggest social media platforms that start with T merge soon? It’s possible, with TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, looking for an American buyer by September 21. TikTok started out as a lipsynching video app, but has now turned into an immensely popular short-form video platform. The app allows users to produce “short looping videos” from 3 to 60 seconds long. The app released worldwide in 2018 after merging with Musical.ly.
A Threat to National Security?
This news comes on the heels of President Trump’s claims that TikTok “continues to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States”. It also emerged after talks of Microsoft making a “TikTok takeover”, reports Variety. If the app’s U.S.-based platform can’t find a buyer by the appointed date, Trump will put into effect his ban on the short-form video platform.
Trump made the executive order to ban TikTok in the U.S. on August 6, and since then, the app is planning to sue the Trump administration over what it calls an “unconstitutional” order. It also claims that “Trump failed to provide any evidence that would show TikTok is a danger to the U.S.’s national security”. According to Variety, the app called the ban “a dangerous precedent for the concept of free expression and open markets.”
Twitter’s Previous Video App and Other Bans
This foray into short-form videos comes after Twitter’s Vine acquisition in 2012; Twitter subsequently shut down the app. It seems Twitter is interested in dabbling in video content once again. Among others who have banned TikTok are India, after a border dispute with China; the Department of Homeland Security; the TSA; and Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.
Currently, TikTok is also being investigated by CNIL in France for how it “handles user data”, according to TechCrunch. CNIL is an organization that aims to protect user data in the European Union. These investigations and bans come on the heels of TikTok announcing the “first wave” of creators to get compensation for their content.