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Montana Becomes the First State to Ban TikTok

Montana Becomes the First State to Ban TikTok

In a move sure to spark controversy, Montana has officially banned the use of TikTok in the state. The ban, which will begin on Jan. 1, 2024, is the first of its kind in the United States.

The Montana law would fine any “entity” $10,000 for every day TikTok is available to Montanans. Penalties do not apply to users, rather app stores and the app itself would face the fine.

This doesn’t mean the legal battle is over for TikTok, however. The law is expected to face legal challenges, with the policy director for Montana’s ACLU chapter saying the law has “trampled on the free speech of hundreds of thousands of Montanans who use the app to express themselves, gather information and run their small business in the name of anti-Chinese sentiment.”

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte’s decision was based on concerns about the security of TikTok data. The commission believes that TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, could be used by the Chinese government to collect data on American users.

TikTok has denied these claims, saying that it does not share user data with the Chinese government. In March, TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew stood before Congress in a meme-able hearing defending his company’s policies.

But if the new law does ultimately hold up, it will likely spark a wave of similar restrictions in other states. Is this the beginning of the end for TikTok?

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