TikTok Files Emergency Motion in Bid To Prevent Montana Ban From Going Into Effect

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The Montana State Capitol. Photo Credit: Martin Kraft

Amid an ongoing legal battle over a Montana law that’s set to ban its use beginning on January 1st, 2024, TikTok is attempting to block the much-publicized measure from going into effect.

TikTok just recently moved to obtain a preliminary injunction to prevent the full-scale prohibition, violations of which could each bring a $10,000 fine, according to reports. Earlier in 2023, Montana became the first state to approve legislation banning TikTok outright, after north of 30 states (and several countries) barred government employees from using the highly controversial video-sharing service on official devices.

Predictably, TikTok fired back against Montana’s law at once, claiming in a late-May lawsuit against Attorney General Austin Knudsen that the ban had resulted from “unfounded speculation” about the platform and would constitute (among other things) a violation of the First Amendment.

Additionally, five TikTok creators likewise filed a complaint in May challenging the ban – though it subsequently came to light that the company itself would be covering these users’ legal fees in connection with the action. Bearing in mind the latter point, both TikTok and the creators are seeking preliminary injunctions, according to the Associated Press.

And in support of their push to block the quick-approaching ban in Montana, where TikTok reportedly boasts about 380,000 users, the plaintiffs expressed the belief that the prohibition would result in “irreparable harm,” per the noted outlet.

Now, the state will reportedly have until mid-August to respond to the injunction motions, which Emily Flower, a press secretary with the attorney general’s office, addressed in a statement.

“TikTok users don’t use the app – the app uses them and turns them into a spying apparatus for the Chinese Communist Party,” spelled out Flower. “TikTok’s ‘support’ is bought and paid for – Montanans recognize the threat that the app poses to their privacy and national security.”

Of course, it’s unclear whether the above-highlighted 380,000 Montanans as well as other TikTok users throughout the United States and the world do in fact “recognize the threat that the app poses.” Notwithstanding numerous reports of and fines pertaining to the service’s alleged misuse of personal data, not to mention other troubling claims and lawsuits as well as separate actions levied by state governments, TikTok remains extremely popular.

Specifically on the music side, the subsidiary of Beijing-headquartered ByteDance is continuing to expand rapidly despite the ever-present possibility of facing a complete ban in the States. Most recently, higher-ups this week rolled out TikTok Music, a paid-only streaming platform, in Brazil and Indonesia. The offering has licensing deals in place with each of the major labels and costs less than Spotify in the listed nations.