US Judge Temporarily Halts TikTok Ban, Siding With Influencers’ Suit

By dpa correspondents dpa

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Friday's decision halts an order by the Department of Commerce to bar U.S. companies from hosting TikTok's data. The suit was filed by three TikTok influencers who each have more than 1 million followers and use the app to engage with them.

Pennsylvania

A judge on Friday issued a preliminary injunction to halt the US from effectively banning the video-sharing app TikTok, siding with three users of the application who sued the government.

U.S. District Court Judge Wendy Beetlestone said that the ban, which was set to go into effect on November 12, will "have the effect of shutting down, within the United States, a platform for expressive activity used by approximately 700 million individuals globally."

Beetlestone also cited the plaintiffs' use of the platform for income and professional opportunities.

The suit was filed by three TikTok influencers who each have more than 1 million followers and use the app to engage with them.

Friday's decision halts an order by the Department of Commerce to bar U.S. companies from hosting TikTok's data.

The Pennsylvania court's decision is the second court order stopping efforts by the Trump administration to effectively ban the app.

In September, a judge in Washington granted a preliminary injunction in a suit brought by TikTok against a government order to stop new TikTok downloads in the US.

It would have prohibited marketplaces like the Apple App Store from offering TikTok for download.

TikTok, one of the most popular social media platforms in the country, allows users to create short videos — often with some basic effects and music.

President Donald Trump's administration argues that as TikTok collects users' data it is a security risk, and says Chinese authorities may gain access to that data. TikTok and its Chinese parent firm ByteDance deny the allegations.

The Trump administration is trying to force a sale of TikTok to US companies. ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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