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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

TikTok Ban Battle: Leaked Memo Reveals Company’s Plan to Fight | ByteDance vs US Government

In a dramatic turn of events, just days following the passage of a bill by the United States House of Representatives aiming to ban TikTok within its borders, an internal memo has surfaced, divulging the social media giant’s plans to fiercely contest the legislation through legal channels. This development comes in the wake of longstanding concerns raised by the US government regarding TikTok’s ties to its parent company ByteDance and alleged links to the Chinese government, citing national security risks.

The saga began to unfold several years ago, with the US government intensifying efforts to curb TikTok’s presence on American soil. The recent bill, passed in March 2024, mandates ByteDance to divest TikTok to a non-Chinese entity within a strict timeline, failing which, the app faces outright prohibition in the US. However, the bill awaits Senate approval, yet another bill, passed on April 20, 2024, grants ByteDance a slightly extended period of nine months to comply with the divestiture requirement.

In the aftermath of the latest legislative move, TikTok’s head of public policy for the Americas, Michael Beckerman, communicated internally that the company is gearing up for a legal battle against the bill. Beckerman vehemently defended TikTok’s stance, asserting that the proposed legislation encroaches upon the fundamental First Amendment rights of TikTok’s vast user base in the United States, estimated at 170 million individuals. He affirmed that once the bill is signed into law, TikTok will promptly mount a legal challenge in the courts.

This isn’t the first instance where TikTok has resorted to legal recourse to thwart attempts at its banishment from US shores. In May 2023, despite Montana’s Governor signing a bill to outlaw TikTok in the state, the company swiftly responded with a lawsuit, successfully stalling the implementation of the ban.

The leaked memo and TikTok’s defiant stance have ignited a firestorm of debate, with prominent figures, including Elon Musk, publicly denouncing the proposed ban.

Musk, in a tweet, condemned the notion of banning TikTok, underscoring the importance of freedom of speech and expression in the United States, which he argued is antithetical to such draconian measures.

As the battle lines are drawn between TikTok and the US government, the outcome remains uncertain, with legal maneuvering poised to determine the fate of the popular social media platform in the American landscape.

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