Trump’s TikTok Ban Temporarily Blocked By Federal Judge
The ban on TikTok, which was scheduled to go into effect on Monday, has been postponed by D.C. District Court Judge Carl J. Nichols. Though the main ban is scheduled for November, and has not been entirely shut down, the delay prevented the removal of TikTok from stores such as the App Store and Google Play. The decision was made on the basis that banning TikTok right before the election would hurt users’ ability to freely share their views.
“It would be no different than the government locking the doors to a public forum,” John Hall, a lawyer for TikTok, said.
In August, President Donald Trump issued an executive order to ban TikTok and other Chinese apps because of the potential national security threat they pose to America. According to a court filing, there is concern that the app may serve as Chinese propaganda or mine for personal data on Americans as a “mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party.” However, many Americans – particularly anti-Trump TikTokers – are convinced that Trump is banning the app for more nefarious and personal reasons.
@realscamlikelyThe real reason trump wants to ban TikTok in 35 seconds ##dumptrump ##tiktokban ##voteblue ##democrathypehouse ##democrat♬ original sound – Chaz Cardigan
@itsjohnwalsh##donaldtrump message to the ##tiktok community 😅🇺🇸 ##trump ##tiktokban ##tiktokbanned ##bantiktok ##china ##savetiktok ##savetiktokusa♬ original sound – itsjohnwalsh
Not only are people convinced that Trump’s ban is an attempt at media suppression, but also that it is a response to being repeatedly embarrassed on the app. Not only have many videos been made mocking him, but TikTokers actively work to “sabotage” his rallies by reserving hundreds of free tickets and not attending, most famously clearing out his June rally in Tulsa.
@chrisdaartistWhat do y’all think of ##trump ##banningtiktok? 🤔 ##tiktokban♬ Its fine if youre gay Butters I dont care – South Park
@.maya.pinion##greenscreen oh my gosh y’all better NOT do this. ##trump ##tulsarally ##rally ##liberal ##lgbt♬ original sound – Maya
Though conservative and pro-Trump TikTokers do have a sizeable platform on the app, there are no popular videos of them commenting on the ban.
For the past few months, TikTok has been working to combat the ban through a deal with American corporations Oracle and Walmart. The idea was that the two companies would own 20% of the app, while ByteDance, the Chinese company which currently owns the app, would own the remaining 80%. However, the companies could not come to an agreement, as ByteDance wanted to continue to own TikTok for another year after the deal and Oracle wanted the company to lose all its stakes, leading Trump to comment.
“[ByteDance will] have nothing to do with it, and if they do, we just won’t make the deal,” he said. “If we find that [Oracle doesn’t] have total control, then we’re not going to approve the deal.”
So far, the companies have yet to explain how the deal would actually resolve issues of national security.
Ultimately, China may be the one to decide whether or not TikTok will remain available for Americans to use. Hu Xijin, editor of a Communist Party tabloid, has commented that China may reciprocate Trump’s actions, putting a further damper on his proposed deal.
“Based on what I know, Beijing won’t approve current agreement between ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, and Oracle, Walmart, because the agreement would endanger China’s national security, interests and dignity,” he stated in a tweet.