Montana has banned TikTok. So TikTok sued Montana.

by The Insights

TikTok sued Montana on Monday, just days after Governor Greg Gianforte has signed legislation that would ban the app in the state. This is the company’s first official decision to block the ban.

The new law – SB 419 – is the first statewide enforcement ban, and it is by far the most aggressive ban in the United States. It follows a ban banning the use of TikTok on government devices in Montana, a far less controversial move that mirrors similar bans in other states. SB 419 will take effect on January 1, 2024 unless the court orders it. TikTok did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Mashable.

“We challenge the unconstitutional ban on TikTok in Montana to protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana,” TikTok spokesperson Brooke Oberwetter said. told The Verge(opens in a new tab) in a report. “We believe our legal challenge will prevail based on an extremely strong body of precedent and facts.”

The lawsuit pleads(opens in a new tab) that Montana’s ban “restricts free speech in violation of the First Amendment, violates the U.S. Constitution in several other respects, and is preempted by federal law.” This argument is not a TikTok PR special — civil liberties groups like the ACLU have raised the exact same criticism of the bill. After Governor Gianforte signed the bill, Keegan Medrano, policy director at the ACLU of Montana, said the Montana governor and legislature had “trampled on the free speech of hundreds of thousands of Montanans who use the app to express themselves, gather information, and run their small businesses in the name of anti-China sentiment.”

This all comes just days after a group of TikTok creators in Montana also sued the state over the ban, also alleging that it violates Montanan’s First Amendment rights by not allowing residents of the state to participate in a forum for sharing and receiving speech.


TikTok creators sue Montana over ban

“Montana has no power to enact laws that advance what it believes should be United States foreign policy or national security interests, nor can Montana shut down an entire forum for communications based on his perceptions that certain speech shared via this forum, while protected by the First Amendment, is dangerous”, designer costume reads(opens in a new tab). “Montana can no more ban its people from watching or posting on TikTok than it could ban the Wall Street Journal because of its owner or the ideas it posts.”

The ban is unlikely to go into effect, at least without an admirable fight. But even if it is, there are ways to get around a TikTok ban.

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