Critics warn against TikTok ban as blatant censorship

Seth Stein in the Columbia Journalism Review, March 26, 2024, argues that forcing a sale of TikTok is in effect a ban and prior restraint. Those for the ban are worried about China’s use of TikTok to influence the 2024 election. But writes Stein, “the First Amendment doesn’t allow censorship ‘just in case.’ It was downright reckless for the House to pass legislation to effectively ban TikTok the day after [director of national intelligence Avril] Haines’s comments [on the Chinese threat] , without any proof of the kind of imminent and grave threat that the Constitution would require to justify that kind of unprecedented mass censorship.”

Judge Andrew P. Napolitano in Creators, March 21, 2024, argues that the TikTok ban is a blatant violation of the First Amendment. “We all have free will to think as we wish, to say what we think, to read what we want, to publish what we say,” writes Napolitano. “And we can do all this with perfect freedom. We don’t need a government permission slip. The whole purpose of the First Amendment is to guarantee this freedom by keeping the government out of the business of speech — totally and completely. This is the law of the land in modern Supreme Court jurisprudence.”

For related FAC coverage, click here, here and here.

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