When five TikTok creators in Montana filed a lawsuit last month, saying the state’s new ban of the app violated their First Amendment rights and far outstripped the government’s legal authority, it appeared to be a grass-roots effort.
One relevant fact that the creators and TikTok didn’t mention: The company is financing their case.
For more than a month, the popular video service deflected questions about its involvement in the suit. When the case was filed, TikTok said it was weighing whether to file a separate one — a move the company made several days later.
This week, Jodi Seth, a spokeswoman for TikTok, acknowledged that it was paying for the users’ lawsuit after two of them told The New York Times about the company’s involvement.
“Many creators have expressed major concerns both privately and publicly about the potential impact of the Montana law on their livelihoods,” Ms. Seth said. “We support our creators in fighting for their constitutional rights.”