TikTok Sues Montana, Says Ban Violates First Amendment

In this photo illustration, the download page for the TikTok app is displayed on an Apple iPhone on August 7, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

TikTok has filed suit against Montana after the state passed a ban against the social media app last week.

Key Takeaways

  • The Chinese-owned video app filed suit Tuesday after Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed a TikTok ban into law last week.
  • TikTok users in Montana have separately challenged the ban in court. 
  • In 2020, TikTok challenged a federal ban that was later withdrawn after court delays.
  • Experts doubt whether a state TikTok ban is legally or technically feasible.

The Chinese-owned video app filed suit Monday saying the ban, which is set to start Jan. 1, 2024, violates the First Amendment. TikTok said it believed it could win the suit “based on an exceedingly strong set of precedents and facts.”

TikTok users in Montana separately filed a suit over the ban in the days after it was passed.

The company previously challenged a similar ban in 2020 from former President Donald Trump, delaying the order before its eventual withdrawal. 

The social media app is under scrutiny by local and federal governments because of a perceived security concern from its Chinese owners ByteDance.

Republican Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed the bill last week after its April enactment by the state legislature. While individual Montana residents wouldn’t be held liable for having the app, the legislation would target Apple, Google, and other app stores that distribute the app, with a $10,000 fine for each violation. 

Experts have raised questions over the feasibility of the ban. A tech policy group representing Apple and Google argued that app stores aren’t able to execute state-by-state geofencing of their products, only country-by-country.

Do you have a news tip for Investopedia reporters? Please email us at
Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Twitter. "TikTokComms Status Update"

  2. Montana Governor. “Governor Gianforte Bans TikTok in Montana.”

Take the Next Step to Invest
The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace.