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Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

The swirling sands around TikTok’s status in the US continue. Last week, the governor of the state of Montana signed a bill that would ban TikTok there from January 2024. Now TikTok is hitting back with a lawsuit.

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

This is actually the second lawsuit sparked by the bill, with a group of TikTok creators having also sued to overturn the ban. In both cases, a key argument is that the bill violates the First Amendment (for non-US readers, that’s the one that protects the rights of free speech and the press).

The bill would implement a ban partly by barring Google and Apple from allowing Montana residents to download TikTok from their App Stores, and partly by fining TikTok if it continues to operate in the state.

There are still lots of questions about how this would be enforced, but with its lawsuit, TikTok is hoping to render those questions moot, while continuing its lobbying efforts to stave off any prospect of a federal (US-wide) ban.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight