While South Africans were trying to enjoy the long weekend as best they could under level 1 lockdown, avid TikTok users in the United States were anxiously awaiting to hear the fate of their much beloved app. This as a second executive order from the Trump administration sought to ban the app from being downloaded in that region.
At the time of writing, however, a federal court judge has blocked that order, offering the social media platform yet another reprieve. It is the second time in as many weeks that TikTok has been able to escape a ban, with the initial 20th September deadline for a sale of the platform to a US company, also being blocked by a court order.
Had the Trump administration’s order come into effect, smartphone users in the US would not have been able to download the app. While it would mean that potential newcomers to the platform would not have been able to download it from the Play and App stores, those who already owned the app, are still freely able to use it.
The Trump administration is not taking this lying down though, issuing a statement following the court order which confirmed that it would adhere to the ruling, but would still seek to have the app banned.
“The government will comply with the injunction and has taken immediate steps to do so, but intends to vigorously defend the (executive order) and the Secretary’s implementation efforts from legal challenges,” the US Commerce Department noted.
TikTok too, is seemingly ready to head to the courts if need be to fight any additional executive orders.
With this saga far from over, it appears as if the US courts will need to determine whether Trump’s executive orders are indeed legal. If they are deemed so, it looks like TikTok would be forced into a sale, or potentially have to operate outside of the United States, which currently plays host to more than 100 million users of the app.[Image – Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash]