U.S. TikTok users heaved another sigh of relief as the Trump administration’s ban on the music video sharing app was temporarily postponed by a federal court. A Pennsylvania federal judge ordered an injunction that hindered the government from proceeding with the ban that was supposed to have commenced last November 12, 2020.
Federal Judge Grants Injunction Based on the Legal Request Filed by Three TikTok Creators
Although ByteDance, the company behind TikTok, filed its own lawsuit against the ban that was supposed to start on November 12, the ruling handed down by US District Judge Wendy Beetlestone was the court’s decision over the legal case filed by three TikTok creators.
In a court filing, the legal representatives of TikTok creators Alec Chambers, Douglas Marland, and Cosette Rina argued that the countrywide banning of TikTok would result to the three, losing access to their source of livelihood. It was explained that as creators, they are able to support themselves just by posting unique content on the music video platform. Their lawyer further explained that the app’s “For You” page allows a multitude of unknown creators to put their creations in front of a large audience, as it works on algorithms that distinguishes TikTok from other social media platforms.
Rightfully, TikTok is a video-sharing platform that houses different short videos acclaimed as both informative and expressive, as users deem the video clips as similar to artworks, films, and photographs. Based on Judge Beetlestone’s assessment of the platform, the platform meets the criteria of a medium safeguarded by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
According to the Pennsylvania District judge, inasmuch as the US government described TikTok’s threat to national security as merely hypothetical, lack of proof cannot support as well as justify claims that the platform endangers the general welfare of the public. Moreover, her decision to grant an injunction that temporarily prevents the banning of TikTok is to alow creators to have continued use of the platform in expressing themselves, which she also finds as contents that disseminate “informational materials”.
In its lawsuits, ByteDance denies the U.S. government’s claims against TikTok, also asserting that there is not enough evidence to support its reasons for shutting down the video-sharing social networking platform. In a separate statement, the company conveyed appreciation for the enduring support of creators who strived to protect their small businesses, their right to express themselves, and protect their careers especially during these trying times of the COVID-19 crisis.