That night, the ban on the TikTok social network should have come into force in the USA. The Chinese operator ByteDance took legal action against it, with success: A US court has banned the ban by means of an injunction until further notice.
The drama about TikTok (as well as WeChat) that has been running since the beginning of August this year is entering a new round or extension. Because shortly before the ban, which was due to go into effect at midnight US time last night, District Judge Carl Nichols granted ByteDance’s motion to suspend the ban until further notice (via CNBC ). ByteDance had argued that the actions of President Donald Trump’s US administration would have been “devastating”.
Judge Carl Nichols’ decision is only a half victory for TikTok. Because the injunction only applies until the case can be finally decided in court. This also means: A second deadline for the US Department of Commerce on November 12th has remained in place for the time being.
Free speech against national security
At midnight, TikTok was supposed to disappear, especially in the Apple and Google stores. According to the lawyers from ByteDance, this would have “silenced (free) speech” essentially immediately. The government lawyers had argued that ByteDance could not invoke the First Amendment and the right to freedom of expression because the app was a threat to national security.
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The midnight ban would not have completely disabled the app, whoever has it on the device could have continued to use TikTok. But TikTok has pointed out that new users are essential for the platform: “(TikTok) is one of the fastest-growing applications in the world, and these new users are the lifeblood of this business, which applies to any social media platform.”
Nichols’ decision means that both parties will now have to sift through his non-public justification to decide whether it can be released, and will then meet on Wednesday to set further negotiation dates.