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Users sue Montana over its statewide TikTok ban

The suit was filed just hours after Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the ban, which would go into effect Jan. 1, 2024.
A TikTok user edits video
Posted at 9:28 PM, May 18, 2023

Five TikTok content creators have sued the state of Montana over its ban of the app, arguing that the ban violates their free speech rights. 

The complaint states the plaintiffs use TikTok to promote business, connect with military veterans and record outdoor adventures. Some reportedly make significant money from their activity on the app.

"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," attorneys for the plaintiffs wrote.

The suit was filed just hours after Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the ban, which is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

The plaintiffs also argue that Montana has no authority over national security, which Gov. Gianforte cited as justification for the ban. 

The TikTok logo

Montana becomes first state to ban TikTok

Montana became the first state to fully ban the social media app. Legal challenges are expected.


Some lawmakers and federal agencies are concerned the Chinese government or TikTok's parent company ByteDance could use the app to collect information about users in the U.S., or to distribute propaganda that favors China. ByteDance says such claims are baseless. 

Montana has already banned TikTok on government devices, and plans to expand that ban to include all social media applications tied to foreign adversaries on state equipment and for state business. That ban takes effect June 1, 2023, six months earlier than the statewide ban on TikTok.