OnPolitics: First Amendment advocates concerned TikTok ban could threaten free speech

Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., joined by the popular app's supporters, leads a rally to defend TikTok at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 22, 2023.

Hi there, OnPolitics readers!

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is testifying before Congress today as the movement to outright ban the popular social media app over national security concerns continues to grow.

However, First Amendment advocates say a ban like this one could threaten the basic principle of American democracy of free speech.

As Ella Lee reports:

The First Amendment protects freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or any American's right to speak freely, among other rights.

James Lewis, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies' strategic technologies program, told USA TODAY that restricting TikTok content could be construed as censorship.

“It seems a little silly to say that a bunch of lip-synching 15-year-olds are protected speech, but it's protected speech," Lewis said.

Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression have urged against a TikTok ban, suggesting the move would raise serious First Amendment concerns and almost certainly face legal action.

🔎 Keep Reading: A US TikTok ban is gaining support in Congress. Why some say that would hurt free speech.

🚨 Stay updated: TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew testifies before Congress as it floats a ban: Live updates

🕵️ In case you missed it: 'Foreign technology threats': Commerce secretary could ban TikTok under bipartisan bill

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: OnPolitics: Calls for TikTok ban grow, will it threaten free speech?