TikTok CEO Torches Potential Ban, Cites Freedom of Speech Violations: ‘We Aren’t Going Anywhere’

As President Joe Biden signed a security bill that would force TikTok to be sold by its owner ByteDance or face a possible national ban, the social media platform’s CEO Shou Zi Chew responded by declaring that “rest assured, we aren’t going anywhere.”

Shortly after the bill became law, Chew posted a video to TikTok, saying “Make no mistake, this is a ban, a ban on TikTok and a ban on you and your voice. Politicians may say otherwise. But don’t get confused.”

In the video, Chew argues that the ban runs counter to the rights of freedom of speech, adding that the signing of the bill is a “disappointing moment, but it does not need to be a defining one.”

“It’s actually ironic because the freedom of expression on TikTok reflects the same American values that make the United States a beacon of freedom,” Chew continued. “TikTok gives everyday Americans a powerful way to be seen and heard.”

The bill signed by Biden allows ByteDance a nine-month period to sell TikTok, with a possible three-month extension if a sale is close to being reached. The law would also prevent ByteDance from controlling the social media platform’s coveted algorithm, which many attribute the success of the app to.

“You still be able to enjoy TikTok like you always have, in fact, if you have a story about how TikTok impacts your life, we would love for you to share it to showcase exactly what we’re fighting for,” Chew added, encouraging users to speak out about their positive experiences on the platform.

TikTok previously campaigned for users to call their Congressional members to voice their concerns with a potential ban, however, the initiative widely backfired, with members furious after being inundated with calls from users.

“We are confident, and we will keep fighting for your rights in the courts,” Chew said in the video. “The facts and the Constitution are on our side and we expect to prevail.”

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