New Lawsuit Challenges Texas’ TikTok Ban

Art by Visuals via Unsplash

New Lawsuit Challenges Texas’ TikTok Ban

By Movieguide® Contributor

Texas’ TikTok ban on official devices and networks was recently challenged by First Amendment lawyers who want university faculty to be exempt.

“The Supreme Court has characterized academic freedom as a special concern of the First Amendment,” said Ramya Krishnan, a lawyer at the Knight First Amendment Institute, the organization that is working on the case.  

He continued, “With so many Americans on TikTok, it’s important that researchers are able to study the impact that this platform is having on public discourse and society more generally.”

The lawsuit names Jacqueline Vickery, an associate professor at the University of North Texas, as one of the educators who have been affected by the ban. 

Vickery, a digital media scholar, was forced to “suspend research projects and change her research agenda, alter her teaching methodology and eliminate course material” as a result of the app’s ban. 

The ban was ordered by Governor Greg Abbott last December, keeping TikTok off of all state devices “including cell phones, laptops, tablets, desktop computers, and other devices capable of Internet connectivity” in order “to preserve the safety and cybersecurity of Texans.”

Those who oppose the ban have argued that allowing academics to study TikTok could help properly evaluate and combat the risks Gov. Abbott is hoping to protect Texans from. 

“Like it or not, TikTok is an immensely popular communications platform, and its policies and practices are influencing culture and politics around the world,” said Dave Karpf, a Coalition for Independent Technology Research board member and associate professor in the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs. 

Movieguide® previously reported on Texas’ TikTok ban:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) recently signed a bill that would ban TikTok from state-owned devices due to its connection to China.

“TikTok harvests vast amounts of data from its users’ devices — including when, where, and how they conduct internet activity — and offers this trove of potentially sensitive information to the Chinese government,” Abbott wrote of the bill.

Movieguide® also reported on the dangers young people who use TikTok can face:

A survey last month found that 50% of American Adults support banning the app, although among adults that use the app, only 19% support a ban. The reasons for a ban center around national security and child safety concerns. 

TikTok has previously faced multiple lawsuits in the U.S. for the content that it pushes to younger audiences such as drug usage, alcohol, and harmful challenges or trends. The site has also been criticized for exposing children to disturbing content such as suicide-centered content in the past.

Watch THE CHOSEN: Season 1: I Have Called You By Name
Quality: - Content: +1
Quality: - Content: +2