Montana Becomes First State To Ban TikTok

Montana Becomes First State To Ban TikTok

News by Anja Paspalj
Published: May 18, 2023

Montana has become the first state to ban the use of TikTok. 

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed a bill confirming the ban on Wednesday, which will take effect in January. Violators could be fined $10,000 a day, including app stores hosting the short-form video social media app.  

Gov. Gianforte also publicly acknowledged the ban through a Twitter post, stating that its aim is “to protect Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party.” 

Owned by the China-based company ByteDance, TikTok has faced criticism in the U.S.with the growing fear that private data is being accessed by TikTok for the purposes of spying on U.S. citizens.  

However, there has been no evidence to prove this theory. Additionally, research shows that TikTok usage has now jumped by 50% in the U.S.

The social media company itself has addressed the bill, stating that it will work to defend the rights of Montana citizens.  

We want to reassure Montanans that they can continue using TikTok to express themselves, earn a living, and find community as we continue working to defend the rights of our users inside and outside of Montana,” TikTok said in a statement to CNN. 

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Montana’s governer simultaneously signed a separate bill prohibiting the use of any social media apps “tied to foreign adversaries on government devices,” including Russian-founded Telegram Messenger.  

The drastic measure of banning TikTok in Montana is receiving significant pushback, tying into questions of free speech and constitutional rights of U.S. citizens, and may soon be challenged in court.  

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