US presidential candidate says TikTok ban would be unconstitutional

RFK Jr. intends to sue the White House, claiming it is attempting to “screw” young Americans simply to appear tough on China

US independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. plans to file a lawsuit against the American government over its threat to ban the TikTok social media platform, which has 170 million users in the country.
President Joe Biden this week signed into law a bill which gives TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, 270 days to divest from it. Should it fail to comply, TikTok will be banned from app stores serving American customers.
Kennedy believes the threat to be unconstitutional and that the justification for it – namely that the Chinese government could be using TikoTok to collect American citizens’ personal data – is a “smokescreen.”
“Intelligence agencies from lots of countries, especially ours, are harvesting your data from everywhere all the time,” he said on Friday in a statement on X (formerly Twitter).
US officials “don’t understand that TikTok is an entrepreneurial platform for thousands of American young people,” the politician added. “They want to screw them over just so they can pretend to be tough on China.”

Kennedy’s campaign is touted as antithetical to both Biden and his presumed Republican challenger, Donald Trump. He has urged American voters to reject both leading national parties, which he claims are barely distinguishable and represent big business rather than common people.
Meanwhile, TikTok also intends to challenge the potential ban on First Amendment grounds.
“The facts and the constitution are on our side and we expect to prevail again,” the CEO of the multibillion-dollar platform, Shou Zi Chew, said in a video statement posted moments after Biden signed the bill on Wednesday.
He was referring to Trump’s attempt in 2020 to ban TikTok and fellow Chinese-owned app WeChat, which was overturned in US courts.
The Republican candidate has also criticized the White House over the latest campaign against TikTok. On Monday, Trump claimed in a Truth Social post that Biden “is the one pushing it to close, and doing it to help his friends over at Facebook become richer and more dominant.”

The deadline given to TikTok is set to expire shortly after the presidential election in November. Among other things, the platform is a primary source of news for many young American voters, according to multiple surveys. Officials from both parties have been pressuring social media platforms to introduce stricter content moderation policies to supposedly combat misinformation.