A group of TikTok content creators has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government. They believe that a recent regulation infringes on their First Amendment rights by compelling ByteDance, the Chinese parent firm of TikTok, to either sell the app or risk being banned.

Creators challenge the law

Eight TikTok creators sued the U.S. government. They claim that the Protecting Americans From Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act is unwarranted and overly expansive. The creators think there is no justification for the law to shut down a site that millions of people utilize.

“The government cannot ban a medium for communication because it believes that medium is used to transmit foreign ‘propaganda’ or other protected content,” the lawsuit states. It also argues that there is no real evidence that banning TikTok improves data security for Americans.

National security concerns

Legislators argue that such laws are necessary to protect national security and data privacy. They worry that since China owns TikTok, the Chinese government could access user information and spread propaganda.

According to the TikTok creators, these issues can be resolved with restrictive rules. They consider a total ban to be unnecessary and overly harsh.

TikTok and ByteDance respond

ByteDance and TikTok are also fighting to overturn the law. They contend that selling TikTok would be impossible and would force the app to be taken off the American market, alienating millions of users. Both companies seek a declaration of unconstitutionality for the ordinance, and ByteDance insists it has no intention of selling TikTok.

“Our clients rely on TikTok to express themselves, learn, and find community,” said Ambika Kumar, a lawyer for the creators.

“They hope to vindicate not only their First Amendment rights, but the rights of the other approximately 170 million Americans who also use TikTok.”