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TikTok cites free speech rights in bid to halt sale
Pic: Shutterstock

08 May 2024 / technology Print

TikTok cites free speech rights in bid to halt sale

TikTok has cited First Amendment free speech rights in a legal bid to halt a US ban on its operations.

Chinese owners of the app ByteDance are citing the First Amendment in an action against a law that would force the sale of the app.

"Congress has taken the unprecedented step of expressly singling out and banning TikTok: a vibrant online forum for protected speech and expression used by 170 million Americans to create, share, and view videos over the Internet," ByteDance said.

Permanent ban

"For the first time in history, Congress has enacted a law that subjects a single, named speech platform to a permanent, nationwide ban, and bars every American from participating in a unique online community with more than one billion people worldwide".

The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday (7 May) may start a protracted legal fight over TikTok's future in the US.

ByteDance states that the law is so "obviously unconstitutional" that the lawmakers behind the Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act are presenting it not as a ban, but as a regulation of ownership.

ByteDance must sell the platform within nine months under the law but the Chinese business has said it "doesn’t have any plan to sell TikTok".

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