TikTok head asks Instagram, Facebook to join its fight against ban

You won't be able to download the popular video app in the US after Sunday.

Carrie Mihalcik Managing Editor / News
Carrie is a Managing Editor at CNET focused on breaking and trending news. She's been reporting and editing for more than a decade, including at the National Journal and Current TV.
Expertise Breaking News, Technology Credentials
  • Carrie has lived on both coasts and can definitively say that Chesapeake Bay blue crabs are the best.
Carrie Mihalcik
2 min read
Angela Lang/CNET

TikTok is trying to recruit some support from rival social networks. In a tweet on Friday, Vanessa Pappas, the interim head of TikTok, invited Facebook and Instagram to publicly join its challenge of an order from the US government that would bar downloads of the popular video app after Sunday. 

Pappas' comment came in response to a tweet from Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri in which he shared news about the order and said a US TikTok ban would be "quite bad for Instagram, Facebook, and the internet more broadly."

"@mosseri We agree that this type of ban would be bad for the industry," Pappas tweeted. "We invite Facebook and Instagram to publicly join our challenge and support our litigation. This is a moment to put aside our competition and focus on core principles like freedom of expression and due process of law."

On Friday, the Commerce Department said that it is prohibiting certain transactions involving TikTok effective Sunday, essentially ending downloads of the app in the US. The directive also applies to messaging app WeChat, which is owned by Chinese tech company Tencent. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Friday said the apps pose a potential threat to US national security and the economy. 

Facebook declined to comment specifically on Pappas' tweet but pointed to recent comments by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about a possible TikTok ban. 

"I just think it's a really bad long-term precedent, and that it needs to be handled with the utmost care and gravity whatever the solution is," Zuckerberg reportedly told employees during an all-hands meeting in August when asked about Trump's threat to ban the app if it wasn't sold to a US company.

The Commerce Department announcement came just days after ByteDance, the Chinese company that owns TikTok, had selected Oracle as its "trusted technology provider" in the US. The proposed deal, details of which haven't been made publicly available, was expected to meet the needs of TikTok's users and satisfy American national security concerns

Additional restrictions against TikTok, which would essentially cut off the app the in the US, could kick in on Nov. 12, in line with the Trump administration's executive order on Aug. 14 that gave 90 days for ByteDance to sell TikTok to an American company. The Commerce Department said it could have taken more actions against TikTok, but didn't want to disrupt ongoing negotiations between the company and interested buyers.