Frank McCourt, a real estate billionaire and former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, has announced his intention to acquire TikTok as part of a broad initiative to create a healthier internet. McCourt's bid comes as TikTok faces a potential ban in the United States, following President Joe Biden's signing of a law last month that requires the platform to find a new owner or face prohibition.

While McCourt did not disclose the financial details of his proposed bid or his estimation of TikTok's worth, he emphasized the opportunity to rewire how social media works. Under his proposal, TikTok would operate on an open-source, decentralized protocol where users have control over their own data, regardless of the social media app they use.

"We can, and must, do more to safeguard the health and well-being of our children, families, democracy and society," McCourt said in a statement. "We believe we can preserve - and enhance - the TikTok experience by giving individuals and creators on the platform the value and control they deserve regarding who has access to their data and how it is used."

McCourt, who has been a vocal critic of technology giants for exploiting users and undermining the internet's original open vision, is working with investment firm Guggenheim Securities and law firm Kirkland & Ellis to assemble the bid. He also noted that the push is backed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.

McCourt joins a growing list of potential suitors for TikTok, which boasts 170 million American users. Other interested parties include former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Kevin O'Leary, the Canadian chairman of the private venture capital firm O'Leary Ventures.

However, TikTok has indicated that it is not for sale and has begun to mount a legal fight against the new law. The company sued to block the legislation earlier this month, arguing that spinning off from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, is not feasible and that the law would lead to a ban of the app in the United States starting in January 2024.

TikTok's lawsuit claims that the US government has unconstitutionally singled out and banned the short-form video app in an unprecedented exercise of congressional power that would affect both the platform and its American users.

In a separate lawsuit filed on Tuesday, a group of eight TikTok creators also challenged the potential ban, calling the law an "extraordinary restraint on speech that violates the First Amendment." The group, which collectively claims approximately 14 million followers on TikTok, alleges that the law "promises to shutter a discrete medium of communication that has become part of American life."

The creators involved in the suit, who include a college football coach, a rancher and former US marine, and a small business owner, claim that they could lose money earned through TikTok's Creator Fund or by promoting their small businesses if the app were banned. They also assert that their attempts to use other platforms have proven less successful.

"As Americans, we should be able to pick whatever apps we use and the government shouldn't have the power to take that freedom away from us haphazardly," said Topher Townsend, one of the creators involved in the suit. "TikTok contributes significantly to my income and allowed the opportunity to be a full-time creator for almost four years now ... This (new law) is being driven by larger politics, but the end result is going to harm a lot of people, including me."