A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration’s ban on TikTok, at least temporarily, giving the social media platform a reprieve.
The Trump administration has been trying to ban TikTok, calling the platform a security and privacy threat. The move is widely seen as part of the administration’s trade war with China and its broader attempt to isolate Chinese companies, such as TikTok, WeChat, Huawei and ZTE.
One of the conditions that could have prevented a ban was if TikTok’s parent, ByteDance, agreed to sell TikTok’s US operations to an American company. An initial deal was struck, with Oracle slated to take a 20% ownership stake. While the Trump administration signed off on the deal, the Chinese government did not, leaving a ban on the table.
Now, according to Forbes, “Pennsylvania Judge Wendy Beetlestone blocked that order Friday, issuing a preliminary injunction while the court considers a lawsuit brought by several TikTok content creators.” Judge Beetlestone questioned whether Trump has the authority to unilaterally ban TikTok.
The eventual outcome of the TikTok drama could have far-reaching implications for internet companies all over the world, with many experts warning about the nationalization of the internet.