Hours After First State Bans TikTok, It Gets Sued

Lawsuit filed against Montana after it tries to entirely ban the social media app
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2023 1:00 AM CDT
Hours After First State Bans TikTok, It Gets Sued
FILE - The icon for the video sharing TikTok app is seen on a smartphone, Feb. 28, 2023, in Marple Township, Pa.   (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

Five TikTok content creators wasted no time filing a lawsuit challenging Montana's first-in-the-nation TikTok ban; their complaint was filed Wednesday night, hours after Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the law, which goes way beyond a prohibiting TikTok on government devices. The Montana ban aims to prohibit the Chinese-owned app from being used or downloaded by anyone in the state, though it would not penalize app users. The five creators who are suing—a rancher, a former Marine sergeant, and the owner of a small swimwear company are among them—say that violates their First Amendment rights, CNN reports. All are residents of Montana.

“Montana can no more ban its residents from viewing or posting to TikTok than it could ban the Wall Street Journal because of who owns it or the ideas it publishes,” says the complaint. It also accuses the state of depriving TikTok users of rights without due process, a Fourteenth Amendment violation. And it claims the ban conflicts with the federal government's authority and powers, Reuters reports, saying the state is trying to"exercise powers over national security that Montana does not have." A spokesperson for the state attorney general's office says in response, "We expected a legal challenge and are fully prepared to defend the law.” (TikTok itself, as well as the ACLU, have also spoken out against the ban.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.