Montana Passes Complete TikTok Ban

    Montana Passes Complete TikTok Ban
    Last updated May 18, 2023
    Image credit: dailymail


    • Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte on Wednesday signed a bill making Montana the first US state to completely ban the social media app TikTok.
    • Under this law, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2024, Google and Apple’s app stores will be forbidden from offering the short-video app and could face fines of $10K per violation per day. Individuals who use the app, however, won’t be penalized.
    • Gianforte accused the Chinese government of using TikTok to “spy on Americans, violate their privacy, and collect their personal, private, and sensitive information.” Although there’s no concrete evidence China has done this through TikTok — which is owned by parent company ByteDance — under PRC law the government could access this information.
    • Previously in December 2022, Montana joined the majority of states to ban TikTok from government devices.
    • This ban comes while efforts to pass a bipartisan bill to put restrictions on TikTok and other apps owned by foreign countries have stalled in the US Congress.
    • TikTok cited the First Amendment in its criticism of the ban, with a spokesperson vowing the company will “continue working to defend the rights of our users inside and outside of Montana.”


    Narrative A

    With this ban, Montana is trampling on the Constitution and most notably the First Amendment. TikTok is an important source of expression and information gathering for thousands of Montanans, and denying US citizens the right to use it is akin to making them live under a repressive regime.

    Narrative B

    TikTok is a major threat to national security, and it’s up to officials in the US to protect their constituents from surveillance by the Chinese Communist Party. Until ByteDance sells TikTok, the app will continue to rightfully face increased restrictions in Montana and beyond, but a sale to a US company would solve this issue.

    Nerd narrative

    There’s an 18% chance that TikTok will be sold to a US entity before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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