Becoming the most popular social media and video sharing apps, TikTok was supposed to be pulled from U.S. app stores this weekend, having drawn the ire of President Donald Trump.
People who have been worried that it would bring an end to a program that’s only increased in popularity during the quarantine era, can breathe a sigh of relief: A federal judge has put a stop to that, at least for now.
After its owner, ByteDance, successfully argued against Trump’s ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols gave TikTok a temporary reprieve. The Trump administration had claimed back in August that the app was a national security threat, alleging that the Chinese-owned company was poaching users’ information.
He’d ordered that it find a new American owner by mid-September. The company had been working with Oracle and Walmart, but the deadline passed without a finalized deal. But TikTok was able to convince Nichols, who was appointed by Trump, to give them some more time. As per THR:
“The company argues that Trump’s ban exceeds presidential authority, violates users’ First Amendment rights, and because it’s arbitrary and capricious, also flouts the Administrative Procedures Act. TikTok adds that the ban amounts to impermissible regulation of users’ “personal communications” and was not “motivated by a genuine national security concern, but rather by political considerations relating to the upcoming general election.”
They also argued that there was no proof that the Chinese government was tapping into user data.
Had Trump’s ban gone into effect as planned, TikTok would vanish from app stores over the next six weeks, and current users would not receive updates. After that the app would have likely disappeared from the United States altogether. Current users, of course, would still have access to the app, but there would be no more updates. Ironically, argued TikTok lawyer John Hall, that would prove a threat, as updates often include security updates that protect users from predators.
So for now, TikTok is saved, ready to fight another day against a president who reportedly barely pays taxes because he can’t. Let’s celebrate with the latest TikTok blockbuster: