Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

TikTok figures it might as well stick up for itself against Donald Trump

Illustration for article titled TikTok figures it might as well stick up for itself against Donald Trump
Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

It’s been nearly a month since Donald Trump decided he was going to ban the extremely popular social media video app TikTok on the grounds that it’s owned by a Chinese company (you might argue that this has something to do with the allegations that TikTok secretly collects user data, but nobody in the government gave a shit when Facebook was doing that so…), and also a couple of weeks since Trump issued one of his “I do what I want!” executive orders giving TikTok owner ByteDance and absurdly massive media company Tencent 45 days until they’re banned from doing business in the United States. Now, TikTok has finally decided that it should probably do something about all of this, confirming this weekend (via Reuters) that it’s going to take Trump to court over his claims that the app poses a threat to “the national security, foreign policy, and economy” of this country.


In a statement (via Variety), TikTok says that it disagrees with the Trump administration’s concerns that it could be a scam to funnel information to the Chinese government, but it has still spent “nearly a year” engaging “in good faith to provide a constructive solution.” However, and brace yourself for this absolute jaw-dropper, what TikTok got was “a lack of due process as the administration paid no attention to facts and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.” What? The Trump administration? Since when has it ever done any of those things? TikTok adds that it now has “no choice but to challenge the executive order through the judicial system”

This is all happening at the same time that several American companies are considering buying TikTok, specifically Microsoft and software company Oracle (which is apparently led by a Trumper named Larry Ellison). Meanwhile, Trump has inexplicably decided that the U.S. government should get a “substantial portion” of any money made from selling TikTok, even though that doesn’t make any sense. Is it possible that, as King Of America, he thinks everything just has to go through him personally and he gets to make up whatever rules and take whatever money he wants? Ha ha ha, no. Of course not. Why ever would we think that? How silly.

No word on when this all might start to move forward, but as noted up above, we’re only a few weeks into Trump’s 45-day pre-ban headstart. TikTok has some time.

Sam Barsanti is a Staff Writer at The A.V. Club and has covered pop culture news for a decade. He will happily talk to you about superhero movies and mecha anime, whether you want him to or not.