- TikTok creators last week scored a legal victory when a federal judge blocked several government restrictions that will prevent the Chinese-owned social video app from operating in the U.S. on Nov. 12. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone issued a temporary injunction to halt a ban on TikTok, responding to a lawsuit by several people who make a living by creating videos for the app, Bloomberg News reported.
- TikTok creators Douglas Marland (2.7 million followers), Alec Chambers (1.8 million) and Cosette Rinab (2.3 million) argued in the suit that they would lose access to followers if TikTok were banned, and to "professional opportunities afforded" by the app, TechCrunch reported, citing court documents.
- The legal victory for TikTok creators signals how its community of users are rallying to prevent a ban, though the battle is far from over.
The legal victory for TikTok creators is a sign of how its community of users are rallying to defend the social video app from a U.S. ban, which may help to strengthen TikTok's own objections to the restrictions. President Trump in August signed two executive orders to block TikTok downloads from app stores in the U.S. and to ban the app entirely because of national security concerns, though both orders have been challenged in court.
TikTok hailed the temporary injunction as a victory for creators, with Vanessa Pappas, the interim head of TikTok, saying in a statement the company was "deeply moved by the outpouring of support from our creators, who have worked to protect their rights to expression, their careers, and to helping small businesses, particularly during the pandemic."
The decision by District Judge Wendy Beetlestone to issue a temporary injunction marks a reversal from an earlier ruling against the three TikTok creators, and the legal battle is far from over. The Commerce Department on Sunday said it would "comply with the injunction ... but intends to vigorously defend the (executive order) and the Secretary’s implementation efforts from legal challenges," Reuters reported. The ruling likely means that the administration will have to strengthen its argument that TikTok presents a national security threat.
TikTok's parent company ByteDance has been waging its own legal battle against a potential ban. U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington on Sept. 27 granted the company's request for a preliminary injunction that prevented the Commerce Department from ordering Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their respective app stores. Nichols on Wednesday will hold a hearing on TikTok's request for an injunction that would stop the Commerce Department from blocking U.S. companies from providing web hosting or content delivery services to TikTok, The Wall Street Journal reported.