July 21, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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It gave the US the option to kill the TikTok platform

It gave the US the option to kill the TikTok platform

TikTok and the US government have been at loggerheads for some time now. It has even been decided that if TikTok owner ByteDance doesn’t sell the platform, it will have to shut down entirely in the US. It now appears that TikTok has long given the US government the option to destroy the site entirely.

In 2022, TikTok offered the so-called ‘kill switch’, a dead man’s switch that could take the platform offline to address data concerns. Eventually, things took a turn for the worse: The US government believed that TikTok was sharing US user data with the Chinese government, and to cut those potential Chinese ties, ByteDance had to sell the app.

Bite Dance vs America

ByteDance denies sharing data with the Chinese government and criticizes the law requiring TikTok to be sold: “This law is a radical break from this country’s tradition of protecting an open internet. This sets a dangerous precedent that politicians can force a platform to sell or even shut down if they don’t want to express it.

TikTok is appealing the law. It says the U.S. government has rejected any serious settlement talks after 2022 and is unwilling to accept a dead man’s shift as evidence of its willingness to do the bite dance. The idea is that using that button would give the US government the power to suspend the site if it doesn’t follow certain rules, but according to the Chinese company, Americans don’t need that.

Appeal

Now it’s the other way around: TikTok is deemed not to adhere to the rules, and the app must be sold accordingly. The US government is said to have ignored calls to discuss the matter further, including an offer to investigate the transparency center set up in Maryland, US. We’ll hear in September what the judge ultimately rules on the dispute between the US government and TikTok. If the US government prevails, TikTok has until January 2025 to divest the US portion of TikTok. And then Americans won’t be able to access the social video platform.

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