The logo of TikTok is seen on the screen of a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia, the United States, Aug. 30, 2020. (Xinhua/Liu Jie)
"We are challenging Montana's unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana," said TikTok in a statement. "We believe our legal challenge will prevail based on an exceedingly strong set of precedents and facts."
LOS ANGELES, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Social networking platform TikTok filed a lawsuit Monday against the western U.S. state of Montana, seeking to overturn the state's ban on the video-sharing app.
The move came after Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed Senate Bill 419 last week, making Montana the first U.S. state to prohibit the use of or access to the social network.
"We are challenging Montana's unconstitutional TikTok ban to protect our business and the hundreds of thousands of TikTok users in Montana," said TikTok, based in Los Angeles and specializing in user-made short videos, in a statement. "We believe our legal challenge will prevail based on an exceedingly strong set of precedents and facts."
TikTok's lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court, stated that "every month, more than 150 million Americans use the app to express themselves and connect with others" and that the ban violates the First Amendment.
The lawsuit also stated that Montana has enacted some "extraordinary and unprecedented measures based on nothing more than unfounded speculation."
"To halt this unlawful conduct, Plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgement and order invalidating and preliminarily and permanently enjoining Defendant from enforcing the TikTok Ban," said the company in its complaint.
Another lawsuit has also been filed against Montana by five TikTok content creators last week. The plaintiffs, who have diverse occupations, such as businesswomen, a rancher, a student and a veteran, all create, publish, view, interact with and share TikTok videos with "significant audiences."
Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union tweeted last week that "this law tramples on our free speech rights under the guise of national security and lays the groundwork for excessive government control over the Internet."
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