TikTok Sues Montana Over Law Banning The App

TikTok Sues Montana Over Law Banning The App

TikTok is fighting back after Montana banned the short-form video app in the western state.

On Monday (May 22), TikTok filed a lawsuit at the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana seeking to have the state’s newly formed law overturned. According to reports, usage of the platform could result in penalties and fines, which the media company deems unconstitutional.

TikTok’s lawsuit reads,

“Montana’s ban abridges freedom of speech in violation of the First Amendment, violates the U.S. Constitution in multiple other respects, and is preempted by federal law.” 

The creator of TikTok shared in a statement,

“We are challenging Montana’s unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana. We believe our legal challenge will prevail based on an exceedingly strong set of precedents and facts.”

TikTok is reportedly owned by ByteDance, a China-based internet conglomerate. The ban was signed into law last week by Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte. Under the new law, it says that China’s government

“exercises control and oversight over ByteDance, like other Chinese corporations, and can direct the company to share user information, including real-time physical locations of users.”

In addition, the law claims that

“TikTok fails to remove, and may even promote, dangerous content that directs minors to engage in dangerous activities.”

According to reports, starting January 1, 2024, TikTok could face fines of up to $10,000 per day for each violation if the app doesn’t shut down in the state. On top of that, Montana could charge penalties against Apple and Google if they allow users in the state to download the app through their app stores.

As a response to the ban, TikTok said Montana’s claims that the Chinese government could access data on TikTok users and that the app “exposes minors to harmful online content” are unsubstantiated. In the suit, TikTok said that the state,

“cites nothing to support these allegations, and the state’s bare speculation ignores the reality that plaintiff has not shared, and would not share, U.S. user data with the Chinese government, and has taken substantial measures to protect the privacy and security of TikTok users, including by storing all U.S. user data by default in the United States and by erecting safeguards to protect U.S. user data.”

Do you think TikTok should be banned in the United States? Comment below and let us know! 


Authored by: Ariel Whitely