Social Media Platform Sues Entire State For What?

Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash

( – TikTok, the popular social media app, filed a lawsuit against Montana claiming that the state has violated their First Amendment rights to free speech.

On Wednesday, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R) signed state Senate Bill 419 into law which banned the app from being used within the state starting on January 1, 2024. The legislation has gained bipartisan support and passed through the House on a 54-43 vote on April 14, and the state Senate 30-20 on March 2.

At the bill signing the governor alleged that the Chinese Communist Party had been using the app to spy on Americans and collect personal and sensitive information. He added that the decision taken by the Montana government was going to help protect Americans from the information harvesting that the Chinese Communist Party is engaging in. He further added that the risks associated with ByteDance, the company which owns the app, and TikTok have become apparent and are well-documented.

The lawsuit filed by TikTok is looking to potentially block Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen from moving forward with the state ban. In the 62-page lawsuit, it is noted that the state does not have the authority to pass this policy which would fall under U.S. foreign policy. They added that Montana is also not in a position to ban an entire forum just because of what type of speech it believes is shared through that forum. The lawsuit further alleges that the law is a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause.

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