Texas’s TikTok ban is being legally challenged by academics who claim the ban is hindering research and teaching at public universities in the state.
The First Amendment lawsuit, filed on Thursday by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University on behalf of an academic membership group called the Coalition for Independent Technology Research, alleges that the state’s ban is unconstitutional.
“The Supreme Court has characterized academic freedom as a special concern of the First Amendment,” Ramya Krishnan, a lawyer at the Knight First Amendment Institute, said in an interview with The New York Times. “With so many Americans on TikTok, it’s important that researchers are able to study the impact that this platform is having on public discourse and society more generally.”
Texas banned the use of the TikTok app on state-owned networks and devices earlier this year amid national security concerns over the Chinese-owned app. More than 30 states have instituted similar bans.