Three TikTok Stars Just Sued Donald Trump — and Won
With the election upon us, you may have forgotten about another key date this month: November 12, when President Donald Trump has (once again) promised to ban TikTok. But that was before three popular TikTok stars convinced a Pennsylvania judge to temporarily block the restrictions.
Trump has been waging a battle against TikTok since the summer, saying without evidence that the app presents a security threat due to its Chinese ownership. His threat to ban the app has been repeatedly postponed, most significantly in September when Oracle and Walmart won their bid to take over U.S. operations of the app and a judge blocked its removal from the app store. Without a firm deal in place, TikTok was still facing a ban on November 12. However, creators Douglas Marland (2.7 million TikTok followers), Alec Chambers (1.8 million TikTok followers), and Cosette Rinab (2.3 million TikTok followers) filed a lawsuit against Trump and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, successfully arguing that a ban on TikTok would be detrimental to their business and livelihoods.
The creators cited the money they normally make from brand projects, ranging from $5,000 to $12,000 per video.
“Without access to the TikTok app, Plaintiffs will lose access to all of these followers, as well as to the professional opportunities afforded by TikTok,” the suit reads.
If the decision is not overturned, the injunction will ensure TikTok will remain available to U.S. users after November 12.
TikTok was not involved in the lawsuit, but the company’s Interim Global Head Vanessa Pappas thanked the creators in a statement.
“We are deeply moved by the outpouring of support from our creators, who have worked to protect their rights to expression, their careers, and to help small businesses, particularly during the pandemic,” she wrote. “We stand behind our community as they share their voices. And we are committed to continuing to provide a home for them to do so.”
Rinab celebrated their victory on Instagram.
While this decision could still be appealed, users can breathe their 80th sigh of relief that their favorite app isn’t about to disappear … until, at least, the next time Trump announces a deadline.