Social Media Influencers File Lawsuit Over Montana’s TikTok Ban
A group of social media influencers has filed a lawsuit over Montana’s TikTok ban.
The state became the first in the nation to ban the Chinese social media app last week.
TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has ties to the Chinese Communist Party — which has led many on both sides of the aisle to determine that it is a risk to national security.
The Montana law, which goes into effect in January, prohibits TikTok from operating in the state and Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store from offering it for download to customers.
“To protect Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party, I have banned TikTok in Montana,” Gianforte tweeted on Wednesday.
To protect Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party, I have banned TikTok in Montana.
— Governor Greg Gianforte (@GovGianforte) May 17, 2023
The influencers, represented by the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine, claim that the ban violates their First Amendment rights.
“Montana has no authority to enact laws advancing what it believes should be the United States’ foreign policy or its national security interests, nor may Montana ban an entire forum for communication based on its perceptions that some speech shared through that forum, though protected by the First Amendment, is dangerous,” the lawsuit says. “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.”
Montana Becomes First State to Ban TikTok — Prohibits App Stores From Offering it in the State
The influencers behind the lawsuit include swimwear company owner Samantha Alario, former Marine Heather DiRocco, ranch vlogger Carly Ann Goddard, outdoor vlogger Alice Held, and comedy content creator Dale Stout.
The lawsuit argues that the influencers earn income through their TikTok accounts and that the ban will deprive them of their property rights.
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