The Sacramento Bee

Ban TikTok? Not So Fast, Lawsuit from Conservative Group Says

June 10, 2024

(The Sacramento Bee)—The clock is ticking for TikTok, the social media video-sharing app from Beijing-based ByteDance.

Earlier this year, Congress passed a law, signed by President Joe Biden, forcing ByteDance to either sell the app or shut it down. Such a measure was bound to draw legal challenges. TikTok has already sued. And now, so are others.

The Liberty Justice Center, a conservative legal group known in California for defending school districts facing legal action over their parental notification policies, has stepped up to take on Uncle Sam, alleging that the TikTok ban is unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds.

“TikTok is a social media platform on which millions of Americans publish and consume speech. Some of that speech might be considered frivolous—such as cat videos, trendy dances, or people lip syncing to popular songs. But much of the speech on TikTok is serious, addressing important political and social issues. And all of it is protected by the First Amendment,” the complaint reads in its opening.

The lawsuit is on behalf of BASED Politics Inc., a nonprofit that produces TikToks for Gen Z consumers “from a perspective that favors free markets and individual liberty.

“Their use of TikTok also allows them to engage with their audience, receiving feedback and debating ideas raised in their videos,” the complaint reads in part.

The lawsuit points out that 170 million Americans use TikTok, “more than Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat, X (formerly Twitter), Discord, Threads, Truth Social, or Mastodon.”

That includes 16 million Californians.

You can read the complaint here.