TikTok Ban Passes in Montana, Becoming First State to Lock Down App

The popular social media platform TikTok is about to be banned in one state — but with a caveat. On Friday, Montana lawmakers passed a bill requiring app stores in their state to stop carrying the TikTok app. Montana governor Greg Gianforte is expected to sign the measure, which was passed in the state senate by a vote of 54-43, into law. The bill would go into effect in 2024, and would prohibit app stores from offering the app to users in Montana, and would also make TikTok not allowed to operate within the state. That being said, those in Montana who already have the app would still be able to use it. This comes after larger data and security concerns regarding ByteDance, the Chinese-owned parent company of TikTok.

"The People's Republic of China exercises control and oversight over ByteDance, like other Chinese corporations, and can direct the company to share user information, including real-time physical locations of users," reads the bill, which also criticizes TikTok for ailing to remove and promoting "content that directs minors to engage in dangerous activities."

"The bill's champions have admitted that they have no feasible plan for operationalizing this attempt to censor American voices and that the bill's constitutionality will be decided by the courts," TikTok said in a statement. "We will continue to fight for TikTok users and creators in Montana whose livelihoods and First Amendment rights are threatened by this egregious government overreach."

Why would TikTok get banned?

This news comes as there has been a looming legal battle around possibly banning TikTok nationwide, after courts blocked previous attempts in 2020. The biggest concern has been whether or not ByteDance might be providing data from TikTok's users to the Chinese government, something that TikTok itself has denied.

"A U.S. ban on TikTok is a ban on the export of American culture and values to the billion-plus people who use our service worldwide," TikTok said in a statement last month. "We're disappointed to see this rushed piece of legislation move forward, despite its considerable negative impact on the free speech rights of millions of Americans who use and love Tiktok."

What do you think of Montana passing a bill to ban TikTok? Do you think a nationwide ban could happen? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!