TikTok sues Montana over ban on video-sharing app

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    23rd May 2023 – (New York) TikTok, the Los Angeles-based social media platform that specializes in user-made short videos, has filed a lawsuit against Montana over the western U.S. state’s ban on the video-sharing app. The move comes after Governor Greg Gianforte signed Senate Bill 419 into law last week, making Montana the first U.S. state to prohibit access to the social network.

    In a statement, TikTok said that it is challenging Montana’s “unconstitutional TikTok ban” in order to protect its business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana. The company also stated that it believes its legal challenge will prevail based on a strong set of precedents and facts.

    The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court, argues that the ban violates the First Amendment and that Montana has enacted “extraordinary and unprecedented measures based on nothing more than unfounded speculation.” TikTok is seeking a declaratory judgement and order invalidating and enjoining Montana from enforcing the ban.

    This is not the only legal action being taken against Montana’s ban on TikTok. Last week, five TikTok content creators filed a separate lawsuit against the state. The plaintiffs, who have diverse occupations including businesswomen, a rancher, a student, and a veteran, all create, publish, view, interact with, and share TikTok videos with significant audiences.

    The American Civil Liberties Union has also criticised the ban, stating that it “tramples on free speech rights under the guise of national security and lays the groundwork for excessive government control over the internet.”

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