TikTok Sues Montana Over Statewide Ban
TikTok Takes Legal Action Against Montana's Ban, Citing Unconstitutionality and Threat to Free Speech.
TikTok, the popular video-sharing app, has filed a lawsuit against the state of Montana in response to a newly implemented law that prohibits the use of the service within the state.
Montana become the first state in the United States to ban TikTok, following the signing of the bill into law by Republican Governor Greg Gianforte on Wednesday. The law is scheduled to go into effect in January 2024.
Governor Gianforte justified the law by stating that it aimed to safeguard Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party.
However, TikTok promptly criticized the ban, considering it to be “unconstitutional,” and expressed confidence in prevailing against the ban in court. In a statement provided to CBS News, a TikTok spokesperson conveyed the company’s stance on the matter.
“We are challenging Montana’s unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana,” the statement read. “We believe our legal challenge will prevail based on an exceedingly strong set of precedents and facts.”
In its lawsuit, TikTok argued that the ban imposed an unconstitutional restraint on free speech for both the company and its users.
The ban was accused of shutting down the platform as a forum for speech, thereby singling out TikTok users for unfavorable treatment under the pretext that their videos were potentially harmful to minors.
Furthermore, TikTok contended that concerns regarding Chinese government access to user data were within the purview of the United States government rather than an individual state. This provided an additional basis for challenging the ban in court.
Already, TikTok content creators in Montana have taken legal action against the state government, as the ban poses a significant threat to their livelihoods. The group filed a complaint shortly after the governor signed the bill into law, citing a violation of their First Amendment right to access and create lawful speech.
With this legal battle unfolding, the outcome will not only determine the fate of TikTok in Montana but may also set a precedent for similar laws targeting the app in other states across the country. Both TikTok and its users in Montana are eagerly awaiting the court’s ruling on the matter.
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