Montana ban on TikTok blocked, extending critics’ losing streak

A Montana judge has blocked an effort by the state’s governor to ban the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok from state-owned devices, extending a losing streak for critics who have tried to restrict the app due to its potential national security risks.

In a ruling issued this week, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch rejected a motion for sanctions brought by Republican Governor Greg Gianforte that sought to prevent the Montana Department of Administration from using the app.

Judge Lynch noted that the state had failed to show that it would suffer irreparable harm if the sanctions were not granted, or that it had taken alternative legal remedies that would otherwise protect it from the risks posed by the app.

The ruling is the latest setback for those who have sought to restrict the use of TikTok, which is widely popular with younger generations. Earlier this year, a federal court in Pennsylvania rejected an injunction sought by a private citizen that sought to ban the app from all government-owned devices, though other courts have recently granted similar injunctions.